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Agenda | Day 2
ADR Annual Conference

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Annual Meeting

September 30, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. - 8:55 a.m. ET

Topic

Annual Meeting

Track 1

Track 2

Challenges Facing Arbitrators and Protecting the Award

September 30, 2023

9:00 am - 9:50 am ET

Panelists

  • M. Catherine Farrell

    • Principal, Pierce, Farrell, Tafelski & Wells, Bloomfield Hills

  • Shawntane Williams

    • Williams & Associates Law Firm, PLLC, Farmington Hills

  • Janice Holdinski

    • Vice President, American Arbitration Association-Moderator

Topic

This program will focus on recognizing the risk areas that seem to attract challenges to an award.  Based on studies, the “exceeded powers” ground is the most frequently asserted challenge and perhaps is the most successful in the courts. What were the types of arbitrator conduct in which the “exceeded powers” challenges succeeded and the types of “exceeded powers” challenges that failed?   What is the impact of these challenges and how can an Arbitrator protect their award?  A panel discussion will highlight suggestions, strategies and best practices for minimizing challenges to an award and provide guidelines on how to avoid the red flags that may exist.

Working with In-House Legal Departments in Mediation

September 30, 2023

9:00 am - 9:50 am ET

Panelists

  • Jason C. Miller

    • Senior Counsel The Dow Chemical Company Midland

  • Michael Steinberger

    • General Motors

  • Luis Gomez

    • Ford Motor Company

  • Christopher Spain

    • ​Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Litigation for Acrisure

Topic

This presentation will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of mediating with in-house lawyers from the perspective of in-house lawyers, providing both insights to the mediators on how to deal with us and the outside counsel who bring us along. How in-house lawyers are different from lay clients or insurance adjustors, particularly in a big company, how to take advantage of that and other in-house resources.

Evidence in Arbitration

September 30, 2023

10:00 am - 10:50 am ET

Panelists

  • Larry J. Saylor 

    • Senior Counsel, Miller Canfield, Detroit                                                     

  • Martin C. Weisman

    • Weisman, Young & Ruemenapp, P.C., Bingham Farms

  • Betty R. Widgeon

    • Widgeon Dispute Resolution, PLC, Arbitrator, Mediator, Fact-Finder, Ann Arbor

  • Janice Holdinski

    • Vice President, American Arbitration Association,  Moderator

Evidence in Arbitration. One of the few statutory grounds for vacating an arbitration award is refusal by the arbitrator to hear material evidence. And admissible evidence in arbitration can be broader than under the court rules. On the other hand, arbitration rules provide that an arbitrator may exclude cumulative or irrelevant evidence, grant dispositive motions, and impose sanctions, including adverse inferences and exclusion of evidence. How should the arbitrator balance these potentially conflicting statutes and rules? Presenters will address the issues and best practices relating to admission or exclusion of evidence in arbitration, and court decisions reviewing arbitrators’ rulings.     

Topic

The Use of Special Masters and Mediation to Resolve Discovery Disputes

September 30, 2023

10:00 am - 10:50 am ET

Panelists

  • Meghan P. McKnight

    • Tealstone Law, PLC, Royal Oak

  • B. Jay Yelton III

    • Counsel,  Warner Norcross + Judd, Kalamazoo

Topic

The use of  special discovery masters and discovery mediators has increased greatly over the last decade, especially in federal court. We will discuss this trend and the types of discovery issues that courts and counsel find utilizing these services most helpful. Specialized discovery dispute resolution services are also being used in state court, as many cases require consideration of high volumes and myriad forms of electronically stored information (“ESI”) – ranging from email and texts, to Microsoft Teams chats and SnapChat messages.   As most state court judges lack the resources to assign a discovery dispute to a magistrate judge or law clerk for resolution, mediators and other experts are being called-upon to assist. We will walk through a couple of hypothetical scenarios showing when discovery help may be beneficial, and then, how to identify and appoint the appropriate master or mediator. Attendees will receive a recently published Bench Book that includes relevant case citations and recommended forms.

Turning No into Not Yet: Neutrals Discuss Their Path to Practice

September 30, 2023

11:00 am - 11:50 am ET

Panelists

  • Lisa W. Timmons

    • Mediation Tribunal Association, Detroit

  • Michael T. Loconto

    • Michael T. Loconto, Esq. Labor Arbitrator

  • Alex Green IV

    • Mandija, PLLC , Lathrup Village

  • Betty R. Widgeon

    • ​Widgeon Dispute Resolution, PLC, Arbitrator, Mediator, Fact-Finder, Ann Arbor

When making the decision to pursue a full-time neutral practice, new mediators and arbitrators face a lot of rejection. Plus, there is a circular quandary because membership on arbitration panels frequently requires evidence of written awards, but writing the awards first requires acceptance onto panels. Further, roster membership doesn’t always equal selection by the parties.  This panel will address how to make sure the meantime doesn’t become the lean time. Panelists will discuss how to market, network, and develop your skills, so you can attract the work you are seeking, while not creating conflicts  on your neutral practice path. Also included will be best practices for bios and websites that create confidence in your expertise as a neutral, · Advice for creating a buzz-worthy social media presence and ideas to build a solid presence in your industry, the pros and cons of developing a niche ADR practice.   

Topic