Dispute Resolution News
Official Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section
In This Issue
Section Sponsors
Upcoming Events
Mediation News
Pro Bono Mediation for Legal Aid
Arbitration News
The Dispute Resolution News is Looking for Articles of Interest
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November 2012
Newsletter Editor: 
John F. Allgood


Dispute Resolution Section Board of Directors


Chair: Emory Speer Mabry III
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Herbert H. (Hal) Gray III
Secretary/Treasurer: Rex D. Smith
Immediate Past Chair: Robert N. Dokson

John F. Allgood
William B. Barrickman
William Beringer
Cicely Breckenridge
Hala Carey
Terrence Lee Croft
William S. Goodman
Daniel Ellis Gulden
Halsey G. Knapp Jr.
Tanya Tate 

Thank you to our Section Sponsors

   spsf breakfast image                 


Upcoming Events
Mark your calendars for
these upcoming Section Events


Section Breakfast Meetings are held at the Buckhead Club (3344 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 2600) from 7:30 am to 9:00 am.  Please check your emails and the Atlanta Bar Association website for updates and registration information.

Wednesday, January 18, 2013 Joint Section Breakfast
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Social at The Lawyers Club
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 Breakfast
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Joint Section Breakfast
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Breakfast
Congratulations to Robert N. Dokson
clap handsCongratulations to Past Section Chair Robbert N. Dokson, Ellis Funk, P.C. and former Executive Director of Atlanta Legal Aid Society for being honored by the Emory Public Interest Committee of the Emory Law School as the recipient of the Lifetime Commitment to Public Service Award.  The Awards ceremony will be held February 5, 2013 at the Tull Auditorium of Emory Law School.  

Mediation News
This month's Section Newsletter begins with three articles on mediation techniques.  Each article is written by Michael S. Orfinger, a principal mediator in the firm of Upchurch, Watson, White & Max and was printed originally in the firm's newsletter.

As my colleague Rodney Max says in his most recent blog post on the "mediator's Proposal", when impasse occurs in a mediation, "it's just begun".  The mediator's challenge is to find a way to break the impasse while still preserving the parties' rights of self-determination.  Rodney discussed one such technique, the "mediator's proposal" or the "silver bullet".  In this post, I offer another technique applicable to a specific subset of cases.  In this scenario, the mediator offers a methodology, but never a dollar amount, for resolving the dispute.  The heavy lifting, i.e. determining the settlement value, is set entirely by the parties.  The end result is quick and certain.

Pro Bono Mediation for Legal Aid
by Taylor Tapley Daly, Nelson Mullins Riley &
Scarborough LLP

The reason many of us entered into the legal profession, undoubtedly, was to ensure justice for all people. Between professional and personal commitments, and despite best intentions, the desire to serve those less fortunate can get pushed to the back burner. Five years ago, the Atlanta
Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Section agreed it
could do its part for the community, putting our special skills to work.

The Dispute Resolution Section started a conversation with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society about utilizing mediation and arbitration it is pro bono cases. The Atlanta Legal Aid Society, along with other organizations providing special services, has been significantly impacted by the reduction of funding available to it from several sources, including the Legal Services Corporation - the federal agency and single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans, providing grants to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs. In the past several years, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society has found itself "doing more with less," while still striving to provide quality legal services to almost 25,000 clients annually.

Arbitration News
Under section 1027 of the Dodd-Frank Act passed by Congress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was authorized to promulgate rules on consumer debt.  A new rule released in October 2012 and to take effect in January 2013, provides for regulation of any law firm that takes in $10 million in receipts from consumer collection activities.  The regulatory provisions require debt collective firms to identify themselves to consumers, to have a consumer complaint and dispute resolution process, and to not harass consumers.

"Today we are announcing that we will be supervising the larger debt collectors in the market for the first time at the federal level.  We want all companies to realize that the better business choice is to follow the law - not break it," said Richard Cordray, CFPB Director.

Debt collection firms have voiced disapproval of this regulation indicated that it violates provisions of the Act against CFPB regulation of attorneys. Among other criticisms are that the proposed regulatory provisions will violate attorney-client privilege.  Several courts have found that state regulators should not be able to supervise debt collection attorneys, with a recent decision issued by the Eastern District of New York finding against the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.  Other courts have ruled that state bar associations should have the final say on supervision of attorney behavior.

The Dispute Resolution News is Looking for Articles of Interest
typewriter newsThe Dispute Resolution News is looking for articles of interest to the Section. 

If you would like to submit an article for publication, please email newsletter editor, John Allgood.