One of the strengths of is the network of members from such diverse backgrounds. now includes academics, practitioners, scholars, professionals, students, 'newbies,' and those interested in getting involved in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The network has experienced rapid growth in a short period of time--a testament to the high level of interest in ADR, as well as a strong desire to collaborate and learn from other members.

To continue strengthening the network and encouraging member engagement, we will take time each week to introduce and interview a member from our growing network, focusing on their interest and experience in the field of ADR. This week, our member spotlight is on Nasri Barakat.

Nasri Barakat is a full time arbitrator and mediator who started his practice in 1994. He is fluent in French and Arabic. His areas of expertise include commercial business, domestic and international business with emphasis on insurance and reinsurance matters. He is certified as an arbitrator and umpire with ARIAS-US. Nasri is also listed on the Roster of Neutrals of the American Arbitration Association, The International Centre for Dispute Resolution, CPR and USCID. For more information on Nasri's domestic and international ADR work experience, visit his website [here].

Recently, Nasri provided me the opportunity to conduct a 'virtual' interview which focused on his career, experiences and thoughts on ADR....

Eric Cissell : What influenced you to choose a career in ADR?

Nasri Barakat: Prior to starting my practice I was involved in the management of litigation and arbitration for an international company with a US affiliate. I was asked to serve as an arbitrator during my employment in 1993. After that I had to make a choice. Continue my employment or become a full time arbitrator and mediator. I chose to devote my time [to] ADR.

Eric Cissell: After getting started in ADR, what has been your biggest surprise?

Nasri Barakat: I have not had many surprises in this field; however, I am very pleased with the [evolution] of ADR and the interest shown in the process from many groups including young attorneys.

Eric Cissell : Are there any ADR related books or tools you consider essential to an ADR professional's library or toolkit?

Nasri Barakat: I have and still read numerous industry publications and books. I find many of them very useful and use several of them as a desk reference. I do not favor one in particular and believe this to be a subjective choice better left to the reader. Each of us may feel more comfortable using one book over another. The comment I may add is that the books are becoming more in number and better in quality because of the contribution of many professionals.

Eric Cissell: What are you most excited or concerned
about for the field of ADR?

Nasri Barakat
: I am excited about the future of ADR and my involvement in it. I enjoy my interaction with other ADR professionals and feel that my contact with them enriches my experience and hope that to be reciprocal with my colleagues. Sharing ideas and experiences is very helpful to all.

Eric Cissell
: What advice would you give to someone who is just getting started in the field?

Nasri Barakat
: When I started in the field I had no idea I would remain in my practice for almost seventeen years. I believe my perseverance produced favorable results for me. I recommend that to the new comers as well. It does take perseverance to gain name recognition. Of course our only assets are our knowledge and our integrity and if we fail on one of them then we can no longer stay in the field. I have dedicated my efforts to the process and I am proud to
be involved in ADR.

It was a pleasure getting to know Nasri better. Please feel free to introduce yourself to Nasri on his page by clicking [here] or visit his personal website [here].

If you're interested in the Member Spotlight, please feel free to
contact me.

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