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Kheel Leadership Summit
The Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes:
An Emerging Area of Practice
On November 10, 2008 The Theodore W. Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes of Pace Law School held a day-long conference, The Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes: An Emerging Area of Practice, at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Helping to define and formulate a new frontier of environmental law practice for attorneys, the Summit gathered together knowledgeable practitioners and academics to discuss the application of alternative dispute resolution principals to environmental and natural resource conflicts. “The initiative for the Center is to take ADR beyond the areas where it has traditionally been applied,” said Rachel E. Demming, a partner and environmental mediator at Scarola Ellis LLP and Co-Chair of the Kheel Center’s Substantive Advisory Committee.
The Summit examined first the role of lawyers in the resolution of disputes in institutional settings such as the use of ADR in the Division of Court Operations in the New York State court system, environmental liability settlement, and administrative law judge proceedings: relatively familiar institutional settings where the beginnings of environmental ADR practice are evident. In each of these settings, mediation and other alternatives to adjudicated judgments on environmental disputes have been engaged in successfully. What attorneys have done to aid and advance the mediation of these conflicts was explored.
Moving from these settings, the Summit examined the management and resolution of environmental conflicts that arise in non-institutional settings where rights are less well developed, the conflicts are rapidly evolving, the stakeholders many, and where there are less obvious forums for conflict resolution.