The ADR Legacy of CPR’s Founding Father, James F. Henry–In Memoriam

Jim Henry

CPR’s founder, James F. Henry, has passed away.

He leaves behind a legacy trailblazing the use of methods other than litigation to resolve business disputes. His impact is immeasurable.  He is responsible for promoting processes, techniques, and tools for alternative dispute resolution for major business conflicts, and expanding its use by lawyers throughout the world.

He founded and then served as president and chief executive officer of CPR, overseeing its initial initiatives with a group of in-house counsel to later include law firm practitioners, academics, and international firms and partner organizations, from CPR’s inception until his 2000 retirement. 

Even after his retirement, he continued to advocate for better dispute resolution, writing–including in Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, which he founded in 1983 (and for which he served as publisher during his CPR years)–and occasionally speaking.

CPR established the James F. Henry Award in 2002. It honors outstanding achievement by individuals for distinguished, sustained contributions to the field of ADR, based on their leadership, innovation and sustaining commitment to the field.

“We’re all privileged and humbled to be walking in Jim Henry’s footsteps,” said Allen Waxman, CPR’s president and chief executive officer since 2019. “He foresaw in a way many others did not the need for business to find better ways to resolve their conflicts than what court systems might offer.  He was a maven for innovation, pushing for greater creativity, efficiency, and fairness in ADR processes.  We are all beneficiaries of his work and leadership.”

Henry died on Aug. 28. He had lived in Waccabuc, N.Y., where he resided for seven decades. He was 91.

Henry’s family has announced a celebration of his life on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 3:00 p.m., in Waccabuc.  They have asked that if you are able to attend, please let the family know so that they can send you an invitation.  The contact is Stephen Henry at shenry@henrylacey.com.   

Henry founded CPR in 1977 to continue previous foundation work on social justice issues that included studying poverty, Native American issues, and tropical disease eradication. In due course, it became the Center for Public Resources (later to change to the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution); its subject focus was business ADR. His delivery devices included new sets of conflict resolution rules, tools, initiatives and programs. (A timeline of Henry’s and CPR’s history is available on CPR’s website here.)

Initially, he and the organization championed mediation and negotiation. He strove to have lawyers talk first before marching to courts. That resulted in the mid-1980s in CPR’s signature “Pledge,” the Corporate Policy Statement on Alternatives to Litigation. (See background and text https://bit.ly/3CDmyjH.)  Under the nonbinding pledge, a company agrees that it will consider—and be ready to negotiate–a resolution with the dispute resolvers at its adversaries.  

The pledge idea spread from CPR to companies throughout the legal world.  It became CPR’s signature effort in the 1980s.  Thousands of big companies and subsidiaries signed on.

That led to a similar pledge for law firms—that they would discuss with the clients in appropriate case the use of ADR. Industry commitments followed, in which groups of businesses agreed to resolve, by negotiation or mediation, specific disputes that arise among the competitors within those industries. (The pledges and commitments can be seen here.) Similarly, Henry spearheaded efforts at CPR to bring together academics and attorneys at all levels to translate theory into effective practice.

The resonance of Henry’s CPR pledge continued well after his retirement, and continues today. In 2012, a “21st Century Pledge” modernized the idea to institutionalize the pursuit of corporate ADR systems. 

CPR has continued this tradition of pledges seeking innovation in dispute management by recently establishing a pledge that businesses will consider incorporating mechanisms into their arrangements with others, not just to resolve disputes, but prevent them altogether.  See CPR’s Dispute Prevention Pledge for Business Relationships (revised April 5, 2022) at www.cpradr.org/resource-center/adr-pledges/dispute-prevention-pledge-for-business-relationships.  

The pledge didn’t stand alone at CPR, even in the mid-1980s.  With the assistance of the late Harvard Law School Prof. Frank E.A. Sander, Henry established the CPR Awards (go here for details on this year’s awards-entry deadline next month and submission instructions), to recognize but also to incentive business and academic development of the processes and systems that CPR began to produce, including nonadministered arbitration rules and guidelines for establishing and using minitrials

Those resources and materials, and many others including international and translated versions, are still vital, and can be found on CPR’s website at https://bit.ly/3ryxCID. (Sander became the longest serving member of Alternatives’ editorial board, from its 1983 inception until his death in 2018.)

Henry correctly projected that private ADR forums initiated by companies and industries would continue to proliferate after CPR’s 1980s work. He cited and worked to expand corporate dispute resolution programs ranging from employment settings to case management. He later worked with court administrators on programs that impacted the installation of ADR offices by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in the 1990s in every federal court in the nation, as well with executive branch government ADR officials. And he expanded CPR’s initiatives to arbitration rules and ethics standards for ADR providers and practitioners.

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Henry’s principle delivery system, however, actually was the lawyers themselves.

Exhibiting a lifelong devotion to improving society through law, Henry continually emphasized best practices in lawyering.  He had confidence that excellent legal skills would bring the informal dispute resolution processes that had been performed for years to a valued place in legal operations and management.

Henry set out to assemble those people, and make them available to disputes.  CPR Dispute Resolution has grown its Panel of Distinguished Neutrals to more than 600 neutrals today, and has addressed cases valued in the billions of dollars.

Henry saw the work of lawyers as the key to ADR success, as well as CPR, a New York-based nonprofit.  He was a tireless cheerleader throughout his tenure as CPR’s president and CEO until his 2000 retirement for bringing out the best in the legal profession, and making ADR skills a requirement.

That in turn created a network of devotees to, and members in, what came to be known in the mid-1990s as the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, ahead of the current name that added the international perspective begun under Henry. CPR members have led in the use of commercial conflict resolution for their clients’ problems, both in house and at law firms, world-wide.

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Jim Henry was born in 1930 in Grand Rapids, Mich., and attended Williams College.  He later served as a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer, and was awarded law degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and the New York University School of Law.

CPR President Allen Waxman said, “On behalf of the board and staff at the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, we send deepest condolences to Jim’s wife, Susan Henry, and their three children and eight grandchildren.”            

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The November issue of Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation has published an expanded version of this tribute to Jim Henry’s life.  See CPR News, 40 Alternatives 154 (November 2022) (available at https://bit.ly/3DgLuMV). An archive of Henry’s Alternatives feature articles can be accessed directly on the Wiley Online Library at https://bit.ly/3ylmkLs.

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CPR Tribute to Peter Kaskell

kaskellparty

By Russ Bleemer

Longtime CPR Institute senior vice president Peter F. Kaskell, who spearheaded the translation of seminal commercial ADR theories into everyday dispute management processes, died Dec. 11 at 94. He lived in West Redding, Conn.

Kaskell joined the CPR Institute in 1983, soon after it was founded, following a lengthy legal career, mostly in-house.  He devoted two decades at the New York nonprofit to devising ADR procedures and leading initiatives that produced still-vital versions ADR tools.

“Peter paved the way for CPR Institute’s committees and task forces continued work on identifying better ways to resolve legal conflict,” said CPR President and Chief Executive Allen Waxman, “producing first-generation, fundamental processes in prominent areas including arbitration.”

Kaskell is best known later in his career for co-editing with Thomas J. Stipanowich, who headed the CPR Institute from 2000 to 2005, an often-cited best practices treatise, Commercial Arbitration at Its Best, a 2001 volume published with the American Bar Association.

But well before the treatise, Kaskell was an organizing force for the CPR Institute.  He set up what became a prototype for CPR Institute annual meetings, establishing cutting-edge agendas and recruiting and moderating numerous panels.

He led committee work that produced key CPR Institute Model ADR Practices and Procedures, for which Kaskell did the bulk of the writing and editing.

The first of his significant works was an analysis of the workings of the minitrial, which brought an informal way of assessing a case into a structured toolbox process for addressing and diffusing litigation.  A minitrial consists of an adversarial information exchange, followed by management negotiations directed to settling a dispute before a full-blown legal proceeding in a public court.

Kaskell wrote the minitrial rules, which were reviewed by an ad hoc committee assembled by the CPR Institute—then, the Center for Public Resources—before they were offered for adaptation to legal conflicts.

They were unprecedented–“the first model rules for minitrials and . . . designed to be flexible enough to be adopted by virtually any company contemplating submitting a dispute to minitrial for resolution.” Model Mini-Trial Agreement for Business Disputes, 3 (5) Alternatives 1 (May 1985) (available at http://bit.ly/2sDJo9k).

Kaskell returned to the subject of minitrials at CPR events and meetings.  The procedure, which was updated and supplemented twice over the years, is still used: You can read the full minitrial procedure and commentary at CPR Institute’s website at http://bit.ly/2sDJo9k.

Even more significantly, CPR’s arbitration rules began on Peter Kaskell’s desk.  When the CPR Institute first looked at arbitration in the 1980s, it saw the process as another independent means for lawyers to assist parties in resolving disputes without courts that could be used more effectively and frequently.  The CPR Institute conceived of arbitration as a nonadministered process run by the attorneys and tribunal as part of the practice of law.

Organization founder James H. Henry tasked Kaskell with heading what has become one of CPR’s longest-running committee projects.  Overseeing the Center for Public Resources’ Committee on Private Adjudication, Kaskell led a blue-ribbon commission in producing the organizations’ first set of arbitration rules in 1989.  The debut constituted a special supplement in the September 1989 issue of Alternatives, and can be found at http://bit.ly/2PD8crc.

Thirty years’ of subsequent history of the CPR Institute Arbitration Committee and rules, both nonadministered and, in this decade, administered rules, most of which included Kaskell’s input, can be surveyed at CPR’s website at www.cpradr.org/resource-center/rules/arbitration.

There were other areas that caught Kaskell’s attention and to which he contributed to making alternative dispute resolution standard practices. For example, in the environmental area, he was staff director in 1985 of a committee that produced the Superfund Multi-Party Site Cost Allocation Procedure. He led as staff director the CPR Institute’s first international committee efforts, as well as antitrust, insurance and technology committee initiatives.

Kaskell was both an expert in and fascinated by the workings of the corporate law department.  Before joining the CPR Institute as a vice president, he spent 27 years at Olin Corp., a Clayton, Mo., publicly traded chemical company.

In the 1990s, with CPR Institute Vice President Catherine Cronin-Harris, Kaskell conducted a study of in-house attorneys’ views of alternative dispute resolution.  The work charted the increasing awareness through the 1990s of the availability and efficacy of ADR.

The 1997 version of the study found, among other things, that nearly 17% of all cases in the in-house respondents’ portfolios used ADR process, more than double from just four years earlier.  See Catherine Cronin‐Harris and Peter H. Kaskell, “How ADR finds a home in corporate law departments,” 15 Alternatives 158 (December 1997) (available at http://bit.ly/2rZZ4Un).

Later, as a senior fellow at the CPR Institute, Kaskell focused on intellectual property issues.  See Peter H. Kaskell, “Is Your Infringement Dispute Suitable for Mediation?” 20 Alternatives 45 (March 2002) (available at http://bit.ly/2sL6QRV).

Kaskell was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1924, and came to the United States as a child.  He grew up in New York and completed his undergraduate work and his law degree at Columbia University.

He interrupted his Columbia education to enlist and serve in World War II, where he was a war hero.  For details on Kaskell’s wartime efforts, see Jeannette Ross, “Wilton loses war hero Peter Kaskell,” Ridgefield (Conn.) Bulletin (Dec. 17) (available at http://bit.ly/2S6SJRz).

Kaskell was a former trustee of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn., and served as vice chairman of Connecticut Humanities.

On behalf of CPR, Waxman extends condolences to Kaskell’s wife, Joan Kaskell, who was a frequent presence at CPR Institute events over the years, and his four children and their families.

 

In Memoriam: CPR Chairman Emeritus Charles Renfrew

By Russ Bleemer

The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Dispute Resolution mourns the loss of Chairman Emeritus Charles B. Renfrew (pictured above), who died in San Francisco on Dec. 14 at age 89.

Renfrew had served nearly 15 years as board chairman when he stepped down from the post in 2011. He remained active with the organization and continued his longtime private practice focusing on mediation and arbitration, as well as corporate investigations.

He also had experience in a wide variety of specialized alternative dispute resolution processes, including early neutral evaluation and mini-trials, and acted as a special master.

“It is difficult to imagine a more impressive career than that of Charlie Renfrew,” said CPR President & CEO, Noah J. Hanft. “His commitment to public service was apparent to all who knew him, as was his commitment to the CPR Institute. CPR was indeed fortunate to have Charlie serve as its Chair for 15 years, and for far longer than that he was a clear and strong voice articulating the importance of CPR’s mission—continually seeking better ways to prevent and resolve disputes. Charlie was both a man of substance and a man of character with a warmth and kindness which was evident to all who knew him.  I will never forget that he was the first person to reach out to me after I was named CEO and his warm, supportive messages from that day forward. Charlie was a true gentleman and we will all miss him.”

Renfrew’s ADR work began during a storybook legal career that included private practice, in-house corporate representation and advocacy, the federal judiciary, and the U.S. Justice Department, as well as social activism.

A veteran who served both in the U.S. Navy in World War II and in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, Renfrew began his legal career at San Francisco’s Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in 1956, becoming partner a decade later.

He departed the firm when President Richard Nixon appointed him to the U.S. District Court in California’s Northern District in 1972, where he stayed until President Jimmy Carter appointed Renfrew Assistant Attorney General under Benjamin Civiletti in 1980.

But when Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan later the same year, Renfrew returned to Pillsbury.  After a two-year stint, he became Vice President of Legal Affairs for Chevron Inc., where, in 1988, he joined CPR’s board in 1988.

In 1993, Renfrew returned again to private practice as a partner at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MaCrae after retiring from Chevron.

After four years, he opened the Law Offices of Charles B. Renfrew in San Francisco, which became the longest-running job in his career, focusing on alternative dispute resolution.

In addition to his work at CPR, Renfrew served on the boards of Princeton University, Claremont University Center, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the Council for Civic Unity. He also served as a director at Chevron.

Renfrew was active in bar associations and taught at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a BA from Princeton University, and from the University of Michigan Law School.

Renfrew was known for an unusual approach on the bench in the criminal cases he oversaw on the federal bench.  After sentencing, the judge would follow up on the convict’s service, and occasionally would visit the institutions to check on their rehabilitation progress.

Renfrew notably ordered specific sentences for community service as part of the condition of offenders’ release, to encourage reflection by the convict, and lower the odds of recidivism.  See Bob Egelko, “Charles Renfrew dies; Democrat appointed SF federal judge by Nixon,” San Francisco Chronicle (Dec. 26)(available at http://bit.ly/2m0ZbI7), and Carol Spiezio, Charles Renfrew, Former Federal Judge, Dies at 89,” The Recorder (Dec. 19)(available at http://bit.ly/2CGt7jQ).

Throughout his career, Renfrew spoke and wrote often about his deep faith in the effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution, and his expectations for its continued growth.  He frequently cited mediation and arbitration’s success as the core reason for his decades of work at the CPR Institute.

Renfrew was nearly evangelical at CPR meetings and in articles in his focus on developing ADR, and creating opportunities for its growth and improvement. During his years on the CPR board, he spearheaded the organization’s emphasis on international work, and measures to prevent conflicts, among numerous other conflict resolution efforts.

In a 2009 Alternatives article reflecting on CPR’s 30th anniversary, Renfrew, with his characteristic optimism about conflict resolution, and also characteristically looking ahead, concluded,

The future for the CPR Institute is promising, too, if we continue to build on our strengths and uniqueness. We must continue to involve the users of ADR services, not just be an organization of ADR providers. If CPR continues to be supported by those who recognize its unique role in the ADR movement, it will continue to flourish and perform the leadership role it has since its inception.

Renfrew is survived by his wife, Barbara Jones Renfrew, who often joined her husband at CPR Annual Meetings and events, as well as eight children, 21 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held in San Francisco on Jan. 6.  The family suggested donations in his name to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where he also served as a board member.

 

*Russ Bleemer is the editor of CPR’s award-winning magazine, Alternatives