Volume 11, Issue 2 - January 2013

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Greetings and happy new year.  Welcome to Volume 11, Issue 2 of the Mayhew-Hite Report.  Since last issue, exciting things have been happening in the realm of ADR here at the Moritz College of Law, and in the ADR community at-large.

Back in November, in conjunction with the Journal on Dispute Resolution and the Association of American Law Schools Section on ADR, Moritz presented the Sixth Annual Works-in-Progress Conference.  The conference was a huge success and is highlighted in the Headline News Section.  In late October, Moritz held its annual Lawrence Lecture, named for distinguished alumnus James K.L. Lawrence (’65).  The 2012 installment featured Ken Feinberg, one of the nation’s most prominent practitioners in ADR.  Most notably, Mr. Feinberg served as Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.  He has also served as Special Master for TARP and as administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund, among others.  Mr. Feinberg’s remarks, titled “Unconventional Responses to Unique Catastrophes: Tailoring the Law to Meet the Challenges”, have been condensed and are featured as this issue’s Lead Article.

Keeping with the theme of distributive and disaster justice, this issue also includes an article examining what “complete justice” may look like in the aftermath of catastrophe by exploring several different, and often competing, notions of justice.  Another article explores and critiques mass mediation programs that have been implemented to resolve the scores of insurance claims that arise out of natural disasters.

Resolving disputes in the aftermath of mass catastrophe is, by its very nature, alternative to the normal course of events.  These atypical occurrences create complex ethical dilemmas.  The sheer number of lives affected, in combination with the profound and unique emotional response of each victim, makes fair and equitable distribution of relief extremely difficult.  Ultimately, absolute justice for all – to the extent it is even conceivable – may be unattainable.  Nevertheless, there is great value in pursuing that objective by continuing to reflect on and refine the processes for delivering justice in the wake of mass disaster.

Finally, this issue includes a preview of a forthcoming student note on the uses of ADR in an industry that may seem like it is experiencing its own mass disaster: publishing.  Despite the death knells tolled for books as a medium of communication, litigation is alive and well in our nation’s publishing industry.  This paper, to be published in its entirety in a future issue, looks at how ADR methods might be incorporated throughout the life of a publication.

Many thanks to our contributors, and thank you for reading.

Adam Vernick

Posted in: Volume 11, Issue 2

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