For many years, the American Health Lawyers Association ("AHLA") Alternative Dispute Resolution Service has offered basic (one day) training courses in arbitration and mediation. I just heard from Geoff Drucker, Manager of the ADR Service, that the Service is taking a big step towards expanding its educational and service capabilities.
From October 19-21, the ADR Service will provide some enhanced arbitration and mediation training opportunities. Offered in partnership with Hamline University School of Law (one of the nation's preeminent ADR and health law programs), the training sessions will be held in Minneapolis, MN. Details are available on the AHLA website.
As Geoff explained it, these training sessions will break from the past in that (1) they will be longer and thereby permit more in-depth coverage of the material through role playing; (2) they will take place at a university conference center rather than a hotel meeting room; and (3) they will embody the quality associated with programs at Hamline.
The courses' instructors appear to be top notch. The two and one-half day mediation training will be given by Debra Gerardi, President of Emerging Healthcare Communities ("EHCCO") and Professor Sharon Press of Hamline School of Law's Dispute Resolution Institute. The one and one-half day arbitration training will be given by a panel of experienced health law arbitrators from around the country, including Marcia Augsburger, Elise Dunitz Brennan, Anthony DiLeo, and Michael Jordan. Debra Gerardi will speak at a joint plenary luncheon.
According to Geoff, the ADR Service's foray into more in-depth training is hopefully the first of other steps to improve its offerings. On the horizon may be higher training requirements for neutrals who are new to the Service (with these new courses meeting that higher standard). He also sees the potential for an entire AHLA conference devoted to ADR (similar to the AHLA's regular subject matter offerings, e.g., Medicare/Medicaid, Tax Exempt Organizations, Antitrust, Fraud & Abuse). Both of these would be welcome developments.
Registration for these training sessions is limited. You can register here.
[Image: University Hall - Old Main, Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN, March 19, 2008, by William Wesen]