Directors

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Vic Schachter is the founder and president of FSRI.  He has served extensively as a mediator, and as an advocate representing clients in numerous mediations and arbitrations over his fifty year career.  He has led and participated in rule of law initiatives promoting judicial reform and alternative dispute resolution and judicial case management in India, Brazil, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Georgia and Malaysia, among other countries.  In collaboration with the High Courts of India, he served as a Project Director for legal reform programs in New Delhi, Bangalore, and Kerala.  In 2008, Mr. Schachter was recognized as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year for his service in judicial reform, rule of law and mediation building.  His work has been reported and cited in numerous publications.  Previously he was a litigation partner at Fenwick & West LLP for 17 years, where he was Chair of its Employment Practices Group.

Hiro Aragaki is Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where he teaches and writes in the areas of negotiation, mediation, arbitration, contract law, and civil procedure.  Prior to joining Loyola, Professor Aragaki taught at Fordham Business School in New York and practiced law for ten years at international law firms.  In addition to his academic work, he has served as an arbitrator and mediator since 2001, trained judges and lawyers in ADR, and provided dispute systems design and court reform advice both nationally and internationally.  He holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.A. from Yale University, and is admitted to the bars of California, the District of Columbia, New York, and England & Wales. 

Dana Curtis is a pioneer and leader in the ADR field. She was among the first attorneys in the country to devote her career exclusively to mediation. She has designed and facilitated hundreds of mediation programs throughout the United States and internationally, including at Stanford Law School for ten years and, more recently, at Harvard Law School, where she teaches Mediating Disputes for the Program on Negotiation. Ms. Curtis has served as a member of the board of directors of the California Dispute Resolution Institute and the California Dispute Resolution Council and as a consulting member of the San Francisco Zen Center’s Ethics and Reconciliation Council. She is a a co-founder of the RockRose Institute.

H. Jay Folberg has authored articles and books on dispute resolution and mediation. He was dean of the USF School of Law from 1989 to 1999. In 1998, Mr. Folberg was appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to chair a state wide task force on alternative dispute resolution, and to chair the Judicial Council's Blue Ribbon Panel on arbitration ethics. He was honored in 2003 with the Judicial Council's Bernard Witkin Amicus Curiae Award for his leadership in the field of alternative dispute resolution and his contributions to California courts. He now serves as a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS, and is chair of the JAMS Foundation Board. 

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Howard A. Herman, Adjunct Professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law, has been a mediator and a developer of the court-annexed ADR program since 1985. He is the Director of ADR Programs for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in San Francisco. Since 1997, he has taught negotiation and mediation at Hastings College of the Law.  He has served on the faculty of the Federal Judicial Center's Mediation Training for Magistrate Judges. He has taught courses for judges and lawyers in India, Jordan, Palau, and Thailand as part of those countries' ongoing civil law reform efforts.

Pamela Merchant is a Human Rights Attorney and the former President and Executive of the Center for Justice & Accountability, an international human rights organization dedicated to deterring torture and other severe human rights abuses around the world and advancing the rights of survivors to seek truth, justice, and redress. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards and is currently a member of the Advisory Council to the ABA International Human Rights Center. She has testified before Congress on human rights issues.

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Hon. Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.) has settled and arbitrated over 2,500 cases throughout the United States as well as internationally. A full-time JAMS panelist since 1992, Judge Westerfield also serves on several nonprofit Boards, including the Advisory Board for the Human Rights Center at The University of California at Berkeley and as a Trustee of the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. She is a member of the Advisory Council to the ABA International Human Rights Center, the International Association of Women Judges, International Academy of Trial Judges, and the Northern California International Arbitration Committee.


Officers

President

Vic Schachter is the founder and president of FSRI.  He has served extensively as a mediator, and as an advocate representing clients in numerous mediations and arbitrations over his fifty year career.  He has led and participated in rule of law initiatives promoting judicial reform and alternative dispute resolution and judicial case management in India, Brazil, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Georgia and Malaysia, among other countries.  In collaboration with the High Courts of India, he served as a Project Director for legal reform programs in New Delhi, Bangalore, and Kerala.  In 2008, Mr. Schachter was recognized as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year for his service in judicial reform, rule of law and mediation building.  His work has been reported and cited in numerous publications.  Previously he was a litigation partner at Fenwick & West LLP for 17 years, where he was Chair of its Employment Practices Group.

Secretary and Treasurer

Jan Schachter, Secretary and Treasurer, has served on the Board of Directors of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, and the Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California. She is a member of the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts.


Advisory Council

Hon. Charles R. Breyer is a Senior District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  He has participated in rule of law initiatives in India. Prior to his judgeship, he was a partner in the law firm of Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer, and he served as Counsel at the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, and as Chief Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco.

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Hon. Edward M. Chen is a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and former U.S. Magistrate Judge. Prior to that, he practiced law with the firm Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer, and was a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union. He has participated in rule of law initiatives in Malaysia, and has lectured extensively on case management and mediation systems.

 Laila T. Ollapally is an attorney and founding mediator and Senior Coordinator at the Bangalore Mediation Center, the first lawyer-driven, court-annexed mediation center in India. Ms. Ollapally has also been a leading figure in training mediators and promoting expansion of alternative dispute resolution processes throughout India.

Rajiv P. Patel is a partner in Fenwick & West’s Intellectual Property/Patent Group.  From 2005 to 2011 he was on the Board of International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw) and from 2005 to 2011 he served on the Planning Committee for the Annual ITechLaw Asia Legal Conference.   Mr. Patel is on the Board of Trustees of the University of New Hampshire School of Law.  He has been repeatedly recognized as a Northern California "Super Lawyer" in the area of Intellectual Property.

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Hon. Richard Seeborg is a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and former U.S. Magistrate Judge. Earlier, Judge Seeborg was an Assistant United States Attorney and a partner at the law firm of Morrison & Foerster. He has participated in rule of law initiatives in India and elsewhere, and lectured extensively on case management and alternative dispute resolution.


Ambassador

Jennifer Brandt is an attorney, mediator and arbitrator dealing with complex Federal and State court cases involving commercial, business, insurance, family law, and bankruptcy issues.  As a FSRI mediation ambassador, she has traveled to India to facilitate and assess mediation programs.  She has participated in international dispute resolution studies in Ethiopia, Sudan and Cyprus.  In addition to her Juris Doctor degree she holds an M.A. in International Relations with a focus on international dispute resolution.