With beautiful weather outside and the cherry blossom season in full bloom, over 1000 attendees filled the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s conference halls as it held its 14th annual conference in Washington, D.C.
On Saturday, April 21, the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution honored Frank Sander, A.B., LL.B., Bussey Professor of Law Emeritus and Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School faculty member, for his outstanding scholarly work in the field of dispute resolution.
This year’s theme builds on the Section’s initiative promoting civil discourse, or, more broadly, “How do we as dispute resolvers lead critical, emotion charged discussions working with people in opposite corners to collaborate and come to consensus?”
The award is given to those scholars who have significantly influenced the field of dispute resolution. To that end, speaker Lela Love, Professor of Law at Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law stated: “If the field of dispute resolution has a parent, this is most likely Frank Sander.”
Love recalled a Bob Dylan song describing ideas as maps to a destination, likening Sander’s revolutionary way of thinking to providing future scholars with a roadmap to the then new field of alternative dispute resolution. Frank Sander’s seminal concept, the “multi-door courthouse,” developed at the 1976 Pound Conference, was premised on the idea that “courts should offer more processes that help resolve disputes,” and, in many ways, this led to the formation of ADR as a field of research.
Lela Love concluded her remarks saying, “He is always giving. Let’s give back even though he can’t be with us here today” at which moment the entire room erupted in applause.
In addition to his trailblazing work in the field of alternative dispute resolution, Frank Sander is the co-director of the Harvard Law School Program on Dispute Resolution and the author of many books, including the Dispute Resolution Casebook and Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation, and Other Processes.