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624 attend conference of Community Associations.

The New Jersey chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI), which represents New Jersey's more than 500,000 condominium dwellers, drew 624 participants and 90 exhibitors -- both record numbers -- to its 11th Annual Conference, held at the Ocean Place Hilton in Long Branch.

The conference featured a keynote address on avoiding litigation by Northwestern University professor Vivian Walker, Ph.D., a National trustee of CAI and an expert in alternative dispute resolution techniques.

Walker began her speech by noting that $20 billion is spent on litigation each year, before damages are awarded, but that 5 percent of all grievances never make it to court. Given this circumstance, one of CAI's major initiative for 1992 is resolving disputes early through arbitration or mediation. This method of avoiding heavy litigation costs has become a favored avenue to dispute resolution over the past several years -- unexpectedly with lawyers being its greatest advocates.

"Attorneys are both the biggest supporters and the biggest detractors of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques," said Walker, who recounted a number of anecdotes about lawyers who originally opposed ADR, but were later won over in real-life resolutions by its effectiveness. Walker also led one of the conference's most popular sessions, a seminar on mock arbitration, negotiation techniques and mediation.

Billed "The Greatest Educational Show on Earth, "the conference offered 15 different seminars on a wide variety of topics related to community living and association management. Conference attendees included board members of community associations throughout New Jersey, who generally are unpaid residents without backgrounds in professional management.

Among the seminars was "A Highwire View of Trenton, "a legislative update, which featured Ron Perl of the law firm Perl, Karpoff & Kessler, and Michael Pesce of Community Management Corporation (both CAI's legislative committee). Moderated by Mark Rosen of The Solomon Organization, the seminar focused on the most recent legal developments effecting New Jersey Association dwellers.
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Title Annotation:New Jersey chapter of Community Associations Institute conducts 11th Annual Conference in Long Branch, New Jersey
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 7, 1992
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