Virginia ADR Joint Committee

Rosemarie Annunziata, chair


With the approval of the committee’s proposed bylaw amendment by the VSB Council in June and the VBA board of governors in April, the Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee is the new official name of the committee.  There are 234 members in the committee and its leadership this year is composed of the Hon. Rosemarie Annunziata, (ret.), chair;  Geetha Ravidndra, vice chair; and Jeanne F. Franklin, secretary/treasurer.

The committee’s Continuing Education Program has enjoyed significant successes and high attendance.  In January 22, 2011, the program, Can We Have a Conversation? Improved Communication Skills in Negotiation and Litigation was presented at the VBA winter meeting in Williamsburg, co-sponsored by the committee, the VBA Civil Litigation Section and the Virginia Collaborative Professional. In September, the committee presented Spahn and McCammon: Together Again, the Ethics of Negotiating in Mediation.  The lawyer's challenge to negotiate both ethically and effectively in mediation was the program’s focus and it was presented both in Richmond and Fairfax.

The committee’s CLE programs for the coming year are being planned by a four-member committee:  Jeanne Franklin, John Settle, Kimberly P. Fauss, and P. Marshall Yoder.

October 26, 2011, the Virginia ADR Joint Committee hosted a reception in recognition of National Mediation Month and the American Bar Association’s Mediation Week.  The reception featured Lisa Hicks-Thomas and E. Franklin  Dukes. Ms. Hicks-Thomas is the secretary of administration for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and she discussed the use of ADR by state agencies and the work of the Virginia ADR council. Mr. Dukes is executive director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia. This event was hosted by the Virginia ADR Joint Committee, the University Of Richmond School of Law’s ADR Society, the Virginia Mediation Network, and the Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution.

The Joint ADR Committee’s Newsletter continued to provide timely and thoughtful articles in 2011-2012, published in hard copy and electronically. Among the topics covered were:  “Civil Cases and the Collaborative Process: Virginia Update,” by P. Marshall Yoder & Donita M. King”; “Good Reads: An ADR Reading List,” featuring works by John Lande, Ellen Waldman, Lisa Herrick, Susan Shearhouse, Eric Galton, and Lela Love; and “The End of Class Action Arbitration?” “Reflecting on Three Decades of Family Mediation: An Interview with Lawrence D. Gaughan,” one of Virginia's first professional mediators; "Healthcare ADR," by Jeanne Franklin; “The imperative need for cooperative planning in HealthCare”; and “Win-Win: Top 10 Tips for Mediation Advocacy Competitions,” by Faith Alejandro & Paul Falabella.

In addition to the committee’s fine newsletter, its communication with members has been enhanced by the continued vibrancy and organization of our website under the leadership of committee member Faith A. Alejandro. The Joint ADR Committee has launched its redesigned website in 2011. With the help of the Virginia Bar Association, the new website now prominently features upcoming CLEs and provides public access to the latest newsletter -- the two most important tools for the browsing practitioner. It provides greater access to our current leadership through easy-to-find contact information and committee links, as well as video clips that highlight the committee's work and success. Potential members can browse the streamlined website quickly and easily to learn about the committee's institutional history and the benefits of membership.  In addition to updating the website's content to stay current, we continue to work on increasing the visibility of the website through metatags and monitoring tools like Google Analytics and to increase the committee's presence online through LinkedIn. Staff support for the Joint ADR Committee’s myriad activities, projects, and CLE’s is provided by Jeremy Dillon and Marilyn Shaw.

Updated: Aug 15, 2012