CAM-CCBC’s group of young professionals promotes webinars encouraging the use of alternative dispute resolution methods out of Rio-São Paulo axis
By Sérgio Siscaro
Despite their undeniable advantages in terms of agility and results, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (ADRs) are not yet used more comprehensively in Brazil. With the exception of the Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo axis, where this culture is already present both in Law courses and in the market, there is still much unawareness about the subject in other regions of the country.
In order to reverse this situation, the New Generation (NewGen) group of the CAM-CCBC, which brings together young professionals and seeks to assist in the development of the new generation of lawyers and arbitrators, has been adopting a strategy to disseminate the culture of ADR in other regions. The webinars of the series “How to improve the culture of ADR in your region” bring together professionals who discuss ways to introduce alternative methods in each State. “The role of the NewGen Steering Committee is to create a space to integrate young people from other parts of the country. They are NewGen members who seek the speakers and conduct the discussions – even because they are more skilled to talk about the characteristics and needs of their region”, says one of the members of the Committee, Luísa Quintão, associate of Justen, Pereira, Oliveira & Talamini.
She adds that two remote events have already been held, aimed at professionals from Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul. A third, aimed at Paraná, is scheduled to be held on September 24. “These webinars have high visibility because of CAM-CCBC, and attract a large audience – and this generates interest in our associates to promote specific events in other states. One of those who showed interest was from Amazonas”, she adds.
In her opinion, the prevalence of ADR culture in the Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo axis results not from a resistance of other regions to the use of these methods, but to the unawareness of their possibilities. “Even in São Paulo, the introduction of the topic in the curriculum of colleges is recent. And most professionals work here – which makes companies from other states come here in search of arbitration or mediation offices.”
ADRs from North to South
The first webinar of the series was held on August 5, and was targeted to the State of Bahia. One of the participants was the CAM-CCBC Case Manager, Marco Antônio Lima, and according to him the interest concerning arbitration has grown substantially in that State in recent years. “There is a very strong movement of the colleges in Bahia towards arbitration. The discussion of ADRs is something very important, so that students can be interested in this field of activity”, he says. He adds that the receptiveness of the NewGen webinar was very positive and allowed discussions on the expansion of the ADR use in the State. “There is still a great lack of awareness about the subject, although we have local initiatives to disseminate this culture, such as the Institute of Arbitration of Bahia, which seeks to disseminate arbitration in the business environment.” According to Lima, agribusiness stands out among the potential sectors for the use of ADRs in Bahia.
The next day it was the time of Rio Grande do Sul to have a webinar, also with local professionals discussing the application of ADRs. In the evaluation of the Assistant Case Manager of CAM-CCBC, Vitoria Suman Campos, responsible for the opening of the event, the current trend in the State is to increase the awareness level concerning the alternative dispute resolution methods. “Three participants brought distinct views on the topic. They presented a common perspective on the need for lawyers to show their clients that the use of ADRs can be an advantageous option,” she says. According to her, a community of ADRs is already being formed in Rio Grande do Sul, with academic competitions and the formation of specialized groups. “There has been a boom in colleges here in recent years, and there are a lot of people interested in studying the topic; students already see ADRs as a niche in the labor market. The turning point will be when we get companies increasingly adopting ADRs. One sector that could greatly benefit from these methods is agribusiness”, she evaluates.
After the pandemic
Quintão says that the preparation of the series of webinars arose from several proposals sent by NewGen members between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, in which it was evident the need to hold face-to-face events in other States. However, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic changed this situation, leading the NewGen to adopt the strategy of promoting the initiative through distance communication channels of the Internet.
“This way of promoting events has been very positive and has contributed to generate interest from other regions. After the pandemic, we intend to resume the plan to develop face-to-face activities, but we will continue with the virtual platform”, says the member of the Committee. She adds that the NewGen plans to revisit the regions that are having webinars in 2021, in events that will seek to evaluate the changes in the implementation of the ADR culture throughout this year.