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January 10, 2002

ABA Section of Dispute Resolution to Host "All in the Family" Conference Feb. 1

On Feb. 1, 2002, in Philadelphia, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts will co-sponsor a conference entitled, "All in the Family: A Symposium on the use of ADR to Resolve Family, Family-Business, and Intergenerational Disputes." The ABA and the AFCC are working in cooperation with the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants, the American Psychological Association, the Family Firm Institute, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, and the Philadelphia Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. ABA co-sponsors include the Section of Family Law and Practice, the Tax Law Section and the Business Law Section.

Prof. Robert H. Mnookin will give the morning keynote address at the conference on negotiation issues, based on his award-winning book, Beyond-Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes. Mnookin is the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project. A leading scholar in the field of conflict resolution and family law, Professor Mnookin has applied his interdisciplinary approach to negotiation and conflict resolution to a wide range of family-related issues.

Topics to be addressed and presenters include:

  • "How to Use ADR in Trust & Estate Matters" (with John Gromala, Ray Madoff, and David Gage);
  • "Collaborative Law" (with Pauline Tessler);
  • "Mediating With High Conflict Families" (with Christie Coates, Nancy Welsh and Ed Monte);
  • "When Death or Divorce Strike: Options for Valuing, Dividing, Selling, or Maintaining Family Businesses" (with Hon. Abraham Gafni, Ron Drucker, and Jane Scacetti);
  • "Mediating Under the New Model Standards and the Uniform Mediation Act" (with Richard Reuben, Andy Schepard, and Elayne Greenberg); and
  • "Mediation and Mental Illness" (with Eric Drogin, David Hoffman, Judith Cohen, and Beryl Minkle).


Disputes arising in family setting can be extraordinarily difficult to resolve and costly for the participants. Whether the dispute arises from intergenerational wealth transfers, family business succession, divorce, or child-related issues, substantial amounts of money are often at stake along with issues of family stability and safety. It has been estimated that family-owned business account for 49 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States, 59 percent of all jobs, and 79 percent of all new jobs. More than half of these businesses will experience a change of control in the next ten years, and yet more than half of the CEO's of these companies have no succession plan. In addition, mediators frequently report that inheritance disputes and high-conflict divorce cases - even when they do not include complex family business issues - are among the most difficult to resolve.

A multi-disciplinary approach is often essential for resolving family decisions. The "All in the Family" conference is designed to bring together representatives of multiple professions, including accountants, psychologists, lawyers, mediators and arbitrators to focus on the use of dispute resolution in producing positive family decision making.

For additional information concerning the conference, contact Jannice Hodge-Bannerman at (202) 662-1687.

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