On May 21, 2009 Disputing and the Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum announced the formation of the LinkedIn Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group (post available here), an open forum for the discussion of industry and commercial ADR. At that time the group was 29 members strong, and if someone had told me that there was even a chance the group might reach the 700 member mark in a year or less, then I probably would have burst out laughing. But my amusement would have been sorely misplaced, because yesterday the group reached the 700 member mark after being in existence for just over eleven months. And we expect it will continue to grow.
Some LinkedIn groups are a little dull, featuring little or no meaningful discussion and plenty of shameless self promotion. But this group is a lively one that enjoys debating issues and sharing information and experiences. Discussions have been frequent and spirited, the group is internationally and professionally diverse, and group members have access to several ADR blog feeds, as well as articles posted by other group members. It is an excellent networking and learning opportunity for anyone interested in commercial and industry ADR.
The Group is co-managed by Don Philbin, Jr., Karl Bayer, Robert Bear, Victoria Van Buren and me. Sharing the burden of group management makes it easier to keep up a steady flow of discussion and interaction.
But the Group’s greatest strength is its membership, which is bright, talented, accomplished, friendly and willing to share to insights and information concerning arbitration, mediation, negotiation and other forms of dispute resolution. It is a fine example of how social media can foster excellent professional networking communities.
Membership in the group is recommended to those interested in keeping abreast of current events pertinent to arbitration (including consumer and international arbitration), tracking judicial and legislative developments relevant to arbitration law, learning more about the subject, or simply sharing information. We are proud to have as members a number of commercial and industry arbitrators, attorneys, law professors, industry people and arbitration professionals.
Membership is also recommended if you are a mediator, a business person who utilizes mediation to resolve disputes, an attorney who represent clients in mediation or a person interested in learning about mediation or sharing information on the subject. The group’s membership features a number of highly-accomplished mediators, dispute resolution professionals, ADR bloggers and professors. Not being a mediator myself, I have learned much about mediation simply through group discussions.
We welcome new members both from the United States and other countries. The only requirement for membership is a bona fide interest in ADR. The group is not a forum for, and does not permit, advertising or blatant self-promotion, so our members need not be concerned about being subject to sales pitches, and the like.
If you are already a member of LinkedIn, please click here to apply for membership in the group. If you are not a LinkedIn member, click here, and you will be guided through the process of creating a profile (which does not need to be completed in one step). Once your profile is started, and you have a log-in name and password, you can apply for membership in the group (which entails no more than clicking on a button). Joining LinkedIn is free, as is joining the group.
We hope you’ll join up!