George Mason University School of Law


January-April, 2000

Visiting Professor Ronald M. Etters

GMUSL: 993-8027

Class Hours: Thursday, 10:00 A.M. - 11:50 A.M.

First Class: January 13, 2000

Last Class: April 20, 2000

Course Objectives: In appropriate instances, an attorney should be capable of advancing his or her clientís legal interests in a variety of forums other than traditional judicial litigation. Accordingly, this course of study will introduce contemporary approaches to Alternative Dispute Resolution, as well as examining the legal framework underlying ADR approaches.

Course Materials: Prof. Etters will supply current ADR materials throughout the course. In addition, the students will be directed to certain key on-line ADR resources such as the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution (, the Conflict Resolution Resource Center ( and other sources.

Course Methodology: Students will participate on "Dispute Resolution Teams" to utilize ADR approaches for the resolution of several legal disputes that confront their "clients." Disputes will center on typical issues that arise in the practice of law such as commercial, personal injury, employment and other categories of disputes. ADR approaches addressed during the course include mediation assisted negotiations, med.-arb., advisory arbitration, interest arbitration, rights arbitration, peer review and others.

Two brief legal writing assignments will be prepared during the course. The first will be a concise "agreement to arbitrate" a particular matter in dispute. The second will be a brief legal memo advising the "client" of the advantages/disadvantages of utilizing ADR resolution in a specified matter. In lieu of a final examination, a formal, authoritative memorandum of law will be prepared which advocates (pro or con) the application of one or more ADR approaches to a selected dispute topic.

Course Grading: No final examination. Grading will be based on the three writing assignments (15 % for each brief legal writing assignment and 70 % on the final memorandum of law). The two initial writing assignments will be graded on: 1) necessary legal elements addressed (50 %); and 2) effective client focus (50 %). The final memorandum of law will be graded on: 1) appropriate authority utilized (25 %); 2) organization/presentation (25 %); and 3) analysis/persuasiveness (50 %). In addition, active participation on the studentís assigned "Dispute Resolution Team" is necessary to pass the course.