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Carrie Menkel-Meadow to Speak at Dispute Resolution Workshop, Oct. 14

Carrie Menkel-Meadow, professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, will deliver a talk at the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop, titled "The Lawyer's Role in Deliberative Democracy: Facilitating Consensus and Other Processes" on Tuesday, October 14, 2003, at 4:30 p.m. The talk will be held in Room 120 at Yale Law School and is free and open to the public.

The paper that Carrie Menkel-Meadow will present at Tuesday's Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop applies some of the lessons from the field of dispute resolution to broader questions of political structure and democratic theory.

"The empirical world is much changed from the times in which most of our legal and political institutions were conceptualized and created," Menkel-Meadow argues. "Political and legal issues are now often multi-partied and multi-issued, suggesting that older conceptions and institutions of dualisms and binary thinking (courts, political parties, federal or state governing units, public/private spheres of responsibility) may be ill suited to resolving, managing or, at least, handling, modern day legal and social problems." This observation begs the question, "To what extent might we be able to re-shape some of our institutional structures to permit uses of different kinds of democratic participation?"

Menkel-Meadow suggests that conflict resolution theory has already developed practices, such as "consensus building" and "bargaining models," that may work as models for broader forms of political decision-making.

In addition, Menkel-Meadow sees a particularly important, though counter-intuitive, role for lawyers in the process of deliberative democracy. She suggests that a "neutral lawyer," one without a client or a position, may be able to perform "a variety of 'new' functions that depart from traditional conceptions of the lawyer's role, but which lawyers may be especially well suited to perform."

To view the complete 2003-04 Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop schedule, click here.