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Expert Views On ADR (EVA)

Expert Views On ADR (EVA)

By Dr Chinwe Egbunike-Umegbolu
A Podcast about simplifying Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in a bid to attract more users to opt or settle their disputes with ADR.
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Episode 15 : Careers in ADR with Professor Emilia Onyema

Expert Views On ADR (EVA)

Episode 19: Professor David Allen Larson on Designing a State Court Small Claims ODR System in New York
I was super excited to welcome David Allen Larson, a Professor of Law at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and Senior Fellow at the Dispute Resolution Institute. He is currently the Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, Co-Chair of the Section’s ODR Standards Task Force, and was a member of the ABA E-Commerce and ADR Task Force. He has been involved with Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) since 1999 and is the System Designer helping create an ODR platform for the New York State Unified Court System. David is the John H. Faricy Jr. Chair for Empirical Studies and a Fellow for the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and the American Bar Foundation. He has 60 legal publications and has made more than 170 professional presentations in ten different countries. Professor Larson worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office of General Counsel, Appellate Division in Washington, D.C. and, on behalf of that Office, participated in drafting the Regulations and Interpretive Guidance for the Americans with Disabilities Act. He was founder and Editor-in-Chief of the “Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment” (CCH Inc.), an arbitrator for the Omaha Tribe and other disputes, and a Hearing Examiner for the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission. He worked with the International Legal Resource Center (a partnership between the ABA Section of International Law and the United Nations Development Programme) and the ABA Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI). He teaches Arbitration Law, Arbitration Skills, Disability Law, Employment Law, Employment Discrimination Law,  Labor Law, Torts and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for the 21st Century. David has been a tenured professor at four different universities and colleges and practised with a litigation law firm. In this episode, we scrutinised the following questions: 1) What is the story so far with the small claims cases via the ODR New York platform? 2) In your article, ‘designing a State Court Small Claims ODR System: Hitting a moving target in New York during a Pandemic’- you mentioned ‘parties auto-populated stipulation of settlement.’ The term is relatively new. What does it mean? 3) How does the credit debt collection ODR platform function? 4) What are the obstacles encountered during the formation of this Project? 5)  What is your advice for people who want to pursue a career in ADR?
October 23, 2021
Episode 18- Critical Evaluation of the One-Stop Dispute Resolution Services in Asia with Professor Mark Feldman
I was super excited to welcome Professor Mark Feldman, one of my mentors and an accomplished leader in the area of Commercial Investment Arbitration. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a JD from Columbia Law School, a James Kent Scholar, Harlan Fiske Stone scholar, and recipient of the Parker School Certificate in International and Comparative Law. He has served both in Private and Public sectors ranging from the USA, China, Singapore and many Asian nations. For instance, he served on the faculty of the Executive Training on Investment Arbitration for Government Officials, held annually at Columbia Law School and organized by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. His articles have been cited in over  200 publications, including reports by the OECD, UNCTAD, RIETI, the World Economic Forum, the European Parliament, the International Bar Association, and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.  Professor Feldman has taught more than 1000 law students at Peking University in Shenzhen and more than 500 government officials, legal practitioners and law students in Singapore (NUS) and Macau (PRAIA Academy). His government experience also includes service as a law clerk to Judge Eric L. Clay on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho during South Africa’s transition to democracy. He is currently a Professor of Law at the Peking University School of Transnational Law, among many other accomplishments too numerous to mention. In this episode, we featured a critical analysis of the following questions: 1)  How do you see the impact of this novel concept (One-stop Commercial Dispute Resolution Services) working within China and how the rest of the world would react to it. 2)  You related to Singapore as a leader, at least in Asia, in the area of commercial investment arbitration using what you described as legal hubs. How is their approach different from that adopted by China? And what are the reasons for their success? 3)  How would you address the fears of the Purists who would see these integrated hubs as nothing but interference in an area considered purely an ADR arena -rather than mixing it with litigation or Professor Frank Sanders Multi-Door Courthouse (MDC)? 4) Is there any differences between the MDC and the One-Stop Dispute Resolution Services (OSDRS)? 5) What is your advice for people who want to pursue a career in ADR or arbitration?
July 17, 2021
Episode 17: Oyo State Multi-Door Courthouse (OYSMDC) as it stands today -Under the Leadership of Mrs Anuolu Gade
I was delighted to welcome Mrs Anuolu Gade, the Director of Oyo State Multi-Door Courthouse (OYSMDC) and a member of the Governing Board of OYSMDC. Mrs Gade obtained a degree in Law from the University of Ibadan in 1998 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2001. She worked at the Public Prosecution Department for ten (10) years as a Prosecutor. She also worked as a Mediator at the Oyo State Citizen Mediation Centre, Ministry of Justice, for about six (6) years and later rose to become a Deputy Director in the Mediation Centre.  Mrs Gade is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, Nigeria, an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK, CIArb and a steering committee member Covid-19 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Initiative (CADRI).  In this episode, we discussed the following questions : 1) When and how did the OYSMDC commence? 2) Has it been able to enhance access to justice for the Citizens of Oyo State? 3) How are matters referred to the MDC? 4) Is there any measurable difference or impact on the cost of settling disputes in comparison to litigation? 5) What is your advice for potential users or users of the OYSMDC?
March 27, 2021
Episode 16 : Practical Negotiation Skills with Mrs Achere Cole
In today's EVA episode, I was pleased to welcome Mrs Achere Cole, the Deputy Director/ Head of Operations of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) and Secretary to the Governing Council of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse. She holds a master’s degree in public policy and management from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London and a second master’s degree in law from the University of Lagos. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2003 and is a CEDR UK Accredited mediator.  Mrs Achere has national and regional experience in building ADR mechanisms and capacity. She consulted for the Judiciary of Kenya and the International Development Law Organization on a project to support the Sustaining Judiciary Transformation Blueprint of Kenya’s Judiciary. She was an External Evaluator for a Court Annexed Pilot Project that was commissioned by the Kenya office of the IDLO and International Commission of Jurists, the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the High Court of Kenya for the family and commercial divisions of Milamani Law Courts in Nairobi, Kenya. She was part of the pioneer staff that midwifed the establishment of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) under the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group. She was a trainer, assessor and mentor for a Justice for All (British Council) project on “increasing access to mediation and legal services for poor people.” She has also provided training for Mediators and Staff of the Kaduna and Abia Multi-Door Courthouses under a World Bank assisted project to expand ADR institutions in Nigeria. Mrs Achere was part of the team that trained 37 staff of the Kano Multi-Door Courthouse to enable the KMDC to start Operations – under the Security, Justice and Growth Programme of the British Council.  She was Head of Human Resources and Administration of Capital Partners Limited and was Workforce Assessment Team Lead as part of a team of consultants responsible for the Bank PHB Retail Strategy Implementation Project and is a trained election observer by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre, Ghana. Mrs Achere teaches Mediation and Communication courses at the LMDC and is also a Restorative Justice Trainer. She is a proficient and interventionist Mediator in fields that cut across commercial contracts, family, criminal and employment disputes. We critically discussed the following questions:   A.  Why Negotiation?  B.  What are the benefits of Negotiation? C.  What are the skills necessary for anyone to engage in Negotiation? D.  What is your advice for potential users of Negotiation and people who want to pursue a career in Negotiation or as a Negotiator?
March 20, 2021
Episode 15 : Careers in ADR with Professor Emilia Onyema
I was super excited to welcome Professor Emilia Onyema, a Professor in International Commercial Law at SOAS, University of London. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, qualified to practice law in Nigeria, and as a Solicitor in England & Wales. Professor Onyema is a member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC) and the Lagos Court of Arbitration, the Advisory Committee of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA). She presides over the Advisory Committee of the Libya Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. She is also a member of various professional associations, including the Nigerian Bar Association and the International Bar Association. She convenes the “SOAS Arbitration in Africa” conference series and publishes the Arbitration in Africa Survey and the African Promise's co-author; she has published various books and articles on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), particularly on Arbitration.  Professor Onyema was awarded the Mentor of the Year 2020 by the African Arbitration Association (AfAA); She has mentored so many people over the years and still mentoring, including my humble self, and one of the main reasons I am researching in ADR- Multi-Door Courthouse in Nigeria. In this episode, we discussed the following questions: a) What is ADR? b) How did you start or commence your journey as an ADR Practitioner/ Academia? c) Throughout your journey as an ADR Practitioner/Academia, have you had any cause to doubt the effectiveness of ADR, to be precise, Arbitration? d) What is the Career Progression in Arbitration? e) What is your advice to someone that wants to pursue a career in Arbitration? f) What is your advice for potential users of ADR?   I dedicate this episode to my mum-Mildred Obiageli Egbunike (Nee Bosah), who passed away on Saturday 6th March 2021. My angel, you looked forward to listening to this session with Prof, but the good Lord took you to be with Him and watch over us. Love you forever till we meet to part no more! Rest in the Lord.
March 13, 2021
Episode 14: Snapshot of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Botswana
 I was delighted to welcome Mr Edward Luke II, a Barrister -at -law, England and Wales, a Barrister and Solicitor of Sierra Leone and an Attorney of law, Botswana. The Managing Partner of Luke and Associates law firm and one of Botswana’s leading lawyers with a wealth of local and international experience. He has engaged in several high-profile cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal Botswana, including Botswana’s most sensational murder trial; appeared in the Court of Appeal with Sir Desmond de Silva Q.C.  Mr Luke is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the United Kingdom, Kenya and Zambia. He is also a fellow of the Singapore and Botswana Institute of Arbitrators. He is an author and has spoken at several international conferences on International Arbitration.  In this episode, we explored ADR as it stands in Botswana today.
March 5, 2021
Episode 13: Exploration into the Concept of Family Mediation
Questions have been asked on 'Whether Family Mediation falls into the general mediation or forms a different class of Mediation'? To answer the above-mentioned question, I invited Mr Joseph Omorere, a Masters degree holder in Dispute Resolution from Kingston University London. He is passionate about ADR and a qualified solicitor of England and Wales. Mr Omorere has practised for over nineteen (19) years in Immigration, Crime, Civil Litigation and Employment Law.
February 20, 2021
Episode 12: Enhancing Access to Justice in Enugu through the ESMDC - Under the Leadership of Mrs Caroline Etuk
I was excited to welcome Mrs Caroline Nene Etuk, the former Director of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC), the first court-connected Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre in Africa. She obtained a Masters Degree in Law from Kings College, University of London.  Mrs Etuk was involved in legal practice until 2006 when she joined the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG) as Centre Manager of the LMDC. Additionally, Mrs Etuk was accredited as an international mediator by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) in 2008. She is currently the Director of the Enugu State Multi-Door Courthouse (ESMDC) from inception (July 2018) to date. As the ESMDC Director, she develops all its operational procedures, templates and training.  Mrs Etuk has attended various courses and conferences in the United Kingdom, and the USA. She has also authored and presented papers at both national and international ADR conferences.  In this episode, we critically examined the following questions: a) To what extent has the ESMDC enhanced access to justice for Enugu State Citizens? b)  In your view, have lawyers in Enugu State accepted ADR?    c)  How do Lawyers bill their Mediation Clients? d)  What is your Advice for Potential Users and People who want to pursue a career in  ADR? e) What is the Career Progression for a typical Mediator? We concluded by touching on how the ESMDC has helped enhance access to justice for the citizens and how lawyers can still make a meaningful living by billing their clients- following a well-outlined structure of billing clients by the ESMDC. 
February 13, 2021
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February 10, 2021
Episode 11: Careers in ADR with Mrs Ronke Koku
In this episode of EVA, I raised the following questions:  a) How did you start your Journey as an ADR Practitioner to be precise Mediator?   b) Can anyone be a mediator?   c) Do mediators require a formal education? d) Do mediators need to be knowledgeable in Psychology?  e) How do you plan your sessions? d)  What is the meaning of Pre-Mediation Session and Caucusing?  f) How do you get difficult parties to open up during the mediation session?  g) What models of mediation do you use?  h)Which is simpler- mediation or litigation? i) What is your advice for people who want to start a career in Mediation or ADR? I had the opportunity to discuss these questions with Mrs Efunronke Omolara Koku, a notary public of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who learnt the ropes of the legal profession from her late father Josiah Akinola, a profound legal icon. She incorporated Ronke Somefun & Company Legal Practitioners and later built a career in Alternative Dispute Resolution.  She is a qualified International Accredited Mediator from the Dispute Resolution Centre, Bond University, Australia, an International and Cross-Cultural Negotiator, ESSEC Business School, an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom (Nigeria branch), and a member of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators. Some of the organisations she had provided mediation training are the staff of Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Additionally, she organises training courses in workplace mediation, family mediation, peer mediation, and youth development programs.  Her passion for empowering the youths in any way possible led her to establish 'The Doors Empowerment and Initiative', an NGO whose aims/objectives include, and not limited to, preparing the Youths for the future through motivational Talks, and skilful careers, among other projects. She believes that if the transition of a child to adulthood is not well managed, a great tendency that such child will fall prey to negative peer pressure, the effect of which will be devastating on the society. Some public schools and tertiary institutions in Lagos state have benefited from this initiative. Her book, “Stand out or Blend in … an insight into peer pressure helps the thinking and behavioural pattern of youths on how to resist peer pressure. She believes mediation skills are 21st-century weapons to handle present-day behavioural attitudes. Through her encouraging words and book, many persons are better equipped today.  Finally, her love for sports led her to start a Sports career. She is currently a Sports and Society Facilitator and an Accredited Sports Marketer.
February 6, 2021
Episode 10: Adjudication v Arbitration - Two Worlds Apart?
I was excited to welcome Mr Kelly Agbonze, a Legal Practitioner who was called to the Nigerian Bar more than 12 years ago. He has handled many cases in Arbitration and Litigation. In this EVA episode, we threw more light on the following questions - a) What is dispute resolution? b) Why, Adjudication? c) What are the differences between Adjudication and Arbitration? This last question stems from the arguments in some reviewed literature where some scholars have highlighted the resemblance and differences between them.
January 30, 2021
Episode 9: The LMDC Journey under the leadership of Mrs Adeyinka Aroyewun
I was delighted to welcome Mrs Adeyinka Aroyewun, the director and a member of the governing council at the LMDC.  An International Mediator of the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) the United Kingdom, a Member of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) UK.  She has mediated over seventy (70) disputes and has gained experience in a comprehensive range of disputes such as commercial disputes; financial / banking,  property, employment and family disputes. In this episode of EVA, we critically discussed the following questions: a) What prompted the birth of the LMDC in the Nigerian Judicial Landscape? b) What are the advantages of using the LMDC and its impact so far? c) With the recent challenges faced at the LMDC, what is the resultant effect of these challenges or occurrence? We concluded by touching on these challenges caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic and END SARS peaceful protest hijacked by hoodlums, which led to the burning down of LMDC. Despite these challenges, the LMDC has continued to render services remotely to their users.
December 28, 2020
Episode 8: Top tips for finding or choosing the right Mediator
 I was thrilled to welcome Mrs Nnezi Miriam Ivenso, a lawyer with 13 (thirteen) years, post -qualification experience in active legal practise including Litigation, ADR and Corporate Commercial Practice. She holds a master's degree in Law Financial Services from the University of London, a certified Mediator, enlisted as a Neutral with the Enugu State Multi-Door Courthouse (ESMDC) as well as an Associate Member of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators, (CIArb), United Kingdom.  In this episode of Expert Views on ADR (EVA), the following questions were posed and dealt with - what is mediation and what are the criteria for finding or hiring the right mediator?   We concluded by touching on the essential elements and features of mediation while at the same time indicating the importance of finding the right mediator.  
December 19, 2020
Episode 7: The Similarities between the Customary Arbitration and the Modern-day Arbitration.
I was thrilled to welcome Mr Johnson Amaechi, a practising lawyer in Nigeria and a graduate of the renowned Obafemi Awolowo University. We extensively discussed the following questions:  'What is the concept or philosophy behind the Customary Arbitration'?  This question predicates the 5th Episode of Expert Views on ADR (EVA) where Mr IK Onuoma and I highlighted that they are two forms of Arbitration in Nigeria, the first is the customary arbitration; the second one is the modern-day arbitration. The discussion leads to the second question 'What is the current development of Arbitration in Nigeria'?
December 12, 2020
Episode 6: The Psychological Dynamics in Dispute Resolution: the interplay between the id, ego, superego and apology, through the lens view of Sigmund Freud
Is there an interplay between ego and apology, which are two sides of a coin when it comes to dispute resolution? I and Esther Ebigbo, a First Class graduate of psychology from the University of Nigeria, who works with persons with disabilities; an inspirational singer, provided a comprehensive insight into the above-stated question. We also dealt with 'whether people can have a subject matter bias'? The reason for this question predicates the 5th Episode of EVA where we discussed that some lawyers are yet to embrace ADR.  We concluded that these psychological, emotional dynamics and other factors discussed should be borne in mind by potential users when making a choice.
December 5, 2020
Episode 5: What are the factors that could influence the selection of an ADR Option?
In episode 5 of Expert Views on ADR (EVA) Podcast, two questions were raised, the first one was 'what prompted the birth of the ESMDC' and the second question was, 'what could influence the selection of an ADR option'?  I had the opportunity to discuss these questions with Mr Ikechukwu Onuoma Esq (Notary Public), the Managing Partner of Obra Legal; a lawyer with over 14 years experience in Litigation, Domestic and International Arbitration and Negotiation. He is also a Charted Mediator who has mediated over 15 cases at the Enugu State Multi-Door courthouse since the inception of ESMDC in 2018 and a member of the Editorial Board of the Enugu State Multi-Door Court House Journal. 
November 28, 2020
Episode 4: Arbitration as it stands today.
In this episode of Expert Views on ADR (EVA), I and Ms.Chika Maduakolam, a PhD Candidate in Socio-legal studies at York University, Toronto; a lawyer with over ten (10) years experience in civil litigation and dispute resolution presents a general overview of arbitration and why potential users should view it as a preferred alternative to litigation.
November 21, 2020
Episode 3: Scope of Matters Settled Under ADR.
In this third episode of Expert Views on ADR Podcast, I and Mr John Osegi who is a Mediator at the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) and a practising lawyer in Nigeria, critically analysed the type of matters that are amenable to ADR; with the hope of enlightening potential users and litigants on the type of matters that can be sent to ADR. Hitherto we discovered that some matters are best handled under Mediation, which is part of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). 
November 14, 2020
Episode 2: 'Merits of the ADR Process'
Episode 2 of Expert views on ADR revealed some of the factors that contributed to the recent use of ADR or the rise of ADR in various jurisdictions- which was as a result of delay and cost of litigation. Thus these factors provided an avenue for litigants to move towards ADR. Against this backdrop, Mr Steve Adikaibe, a practising lawyer in Nigeria, points out the advantages or benefits of ADR with a clear intention of educating potential users.
November 7, 2020
Episode 1: Is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) an OffSpring of the traditional African method of settling dispute?
Questions have been asked whether there is any difference between the present ADR and the traditional method of settling a dispute in Africa (TAMSD)? In a bid to answer this question I  have invited Mr Kenneth Josiah, a renowned legal practitioner in Nigeria to share his view or throw more light on the topic in this first episode.
October 31, 2020