University of Louisville Law Faculty Blog
I had the pleasure of serving as the moderator for a panel last week, at the Fourth Annual ABA LEL Section Conference, entitled "The Art of ADR Advocacy and When to Ignore Your Basic Instincts." On the panel were four highly experienced and knowledgeable neutrals, Vivian Berger, Susan Grody-Ruben, Mark Irvings, and David Weisenfeld, whose bios are attached. Also attached are the questions addressed and the outline for the presentation (which includes some of Vivian's insightful thoughts) as well as the papers or outlines submitted by me and the other panelists.
On October 29, 2010, Mental Health America of Kentucky, a/k/a the Mental Health Association of Kentucky, Kentucky’s oldest mental health education and advocacy organization, presented me with the Clifford W. Beers Mental Health Consumer Award for 2010. The award recognizes my mental health advocacy work through my numerous speeches regarding the wrongfulness of the stigma against those with mental illnesses and the ability of some with severe mental illness who have proper treatment to be successful professionals. These especially include my talks to nursing, social work, psychology, and law students. The award is in the shape of a bell and is a facsimile of the 300 pound Mental Health America bell that was forged of melted chains and shackles that once restrained those confined in asylums because they had mental illnesses. The MHA bell is a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses. Today it rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.
In 1900 young Yale-educated businessman Clifford W. Beers, born in 1876, was first confined to a private mental institution. He would later be confined to another private hospital as well as a state institution. During these periods he experienced and witnessed serious maltreatment at the hands of hospital staff. After the publication of A Mind That Found Itself (1908), an autobiographical account of his hospitalizations and the abuses he suffered and saw during them, he gained the support of the medical profession and other prominent national leaders of the time, including the philosopher William James and the Rockefeller family, in the work to reform the treatment of those with mental illnesses. In 1909 Beers founded the "National Committee for Mental Hygiene," now named Mental Health America, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization that addresses all aspects of mental health and mental illness through advocacy, education, research, and service. He did so in order to continue the reform of the treatment of those with psychiatric diseases by promoting mental health and improving conditions for children and adults living with these health problems. Beers was a leader in the mental health field until his 1939 retirement. He died in 1943.
I spent Friday and Saturday at the Fifth Annual Labor and Employment Law Colloquium. I attended many presentations, all of which were extremely engaging and informative. I presented Friday afternoon at Washington University School of Law on a panel with Thomas Burch (Florida State) and Zev Eigen (Northwestern).
I am starting research on a project that will look at arbitration decisions in the union sector to inform the debate over the adquacy of labor arbitration for deciding statutory employment disputes. The slides of my presentation and accompanying handout are attached to this post.
Thomas proposed regulation of mandatory arbitration of consumer, employment, and other disputes to make it more fair. My understanding is that his paper is still in draft form, but I will post a link to it once it is publicly available.
Zev proposed changes to the procedures used for mandatory arbitration of employment disputes, including updating the Due Process Protocol, to make it a more optimal way to structure rights disputes. His co-authored article is available here.