Mr. Robert M. Smith

Professional Experience

Robert M. Smith, Esq., has more than 20 years of commercial litigation and trial experience. He was responsible for overseas litigation worldwide at Bank of America. Subsequently, he had his own commercial litigation firm representing three dozen financial institutions. Prior to law school, Mr. Smith was a correspondent in the Washington Bureau of the New York Times.

Mr. Smith is a Barrister (Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn) in the UK. He is admitted to the Bars of California, New York, and the District of Columbia. He is fluent in French and German, and speaks intermediate Spanish.

Mr. Smith has commercial law experience that includes such matters as: high-tech lending, sexual harassment, computer license disputes, project finance, international letters of credit, construction disputes, insurance coverage, and personal injury.

Dispute Resolution Experience and Training

Robert M. Smith has been an arbitrator and mediator for more than 20 years. He has mediated hundreds of complex matters in a wide range of subject areas and in many jurisdictions. He was Director of Mediation at CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) in London, as well as a Registered Mediator and Chartered Arbitrator in the UK. He has lectured on ADR widely—at the Law Faculty of Oxford University, the United Nations in Turin, Nairobi, Warsaw, Dublin, Singapore, and Amsterdam. He is the author of ADR for Financial Institutions (West Group, 2d ed. 1998, 1200 pp.).

Mr. Smith has completed more than 400 hours of mediation/arbitration training and teaching, including:

  • Practicum for Experienced Mediators, CDR Associates, Boulder, Colorado, 09/1994, 32 hours
  • Mediation Seminar, Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, California, 06/1994, 20 hours
  • Mediation Training, American Academy of Attorney-Mediators, Oakland, California, 01/1993, 15 hours
  • Mediation Training, American Arbitration Association, San Francisco, California, 01/1993, 15 hours
  • Mediation & ADR Training, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Denver, Colorado, 09/1992, 24 hours

Mr. Smith’s mediation style depends on the wishes of the parties and counsel, and his sense of what is appropriate and likely to be effective.

Mr. Smith has more than 250 references from law firms and corporate and government law departments on five continents. For more representative matters, expanded biography, references and testimonials, please see www.robertmsmith.com

Professional and Other Activities

Mr. Smith serves, or has served, as a mediator or arbitrator on the following panels:

  • UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
  • the World Bank
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • Arbitration Subcommittee to the U.S. Council for International Business
  • Centre de Médiation et d’Arbitrage de Paris (CMAP) – Médiateur Agréé
  • Center for Public Resources, Panel of Distinguished Neutrals

Mr. Smith has been elected a Fellow of:

  • the American College of Civil Trial Mediators
  • the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators
  • the International Academy of Mediators
Academic Qualifications

JD, Yale Law School (Board of Editors, Yale Law Journal)
MS in Journalism with High Honors, Columbia University
MA in International Affairs, Columbia University
Diploma Sobresaliente, Centro de Estudios de Español (Barcelona)
Fulbright Scholar, University of Tübingen (Germany)
AB with Honors, Harvard College

Mr. John W. Norton

Professional Experience

Mr. Norton has practiced business law for over 30 years and during the last 10 years has also acted as counsel and chair in various arbitrations relating to major business issues and real estate matters.

He is known for his practical and strategic approach to legal and business problems. Mr. Norton practices law in the area of mergers & acquisitions and divestitures, corporate governance and commercial law.

Mr. Norton has extensive experience in real estate development law and venture capital law.

He also acted Counsel on behalf of the Vancouver International Airport Authority, Department of Justice, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and United Van Lines. He was finance Chairman for Doug Mowatt, and he is Chairman of Universal Packaging Inc.

Professional and Other Activities

Mr. Norton is a member of a number of Canadian and International Associations, and is an International Associate of the American Bar Association;

  • The Law Society of British Columbia
  • The Canadian Bar Association
  • ADR Institute of Canada
  • British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre

Mr. Norton has been a director of numerous companies and advisory boards, including B.C. Housing Management Commission, Downtown Vancouver Association, Yaletown Housing Society, Vancouver Neurological Centre, Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, St. George’s School Foundation, Shawnigan Lake School Board of Governors, Thunderbird Golf Society, Pacific Parkinson Research Institute, Air Canada Championship, Order of St. John Palliative Care Foundation, as well as many closely held corporations.

Academic Qualifications

B. Comm., University of British Columbia, 1968
LL.B., University of British Columbia, 1969
Chartered Arbitrator, 1990

Melvyn Simburg

Professional Experience

Mr. Simburg has been an attorney since 1972 and an ADR neutral since 1980. Mr. Simburg is a lawyer’s lawyer. He helps businesses as an imaginative problem-solver and resourceful litigator. Mel Simburg has particular experience in the areas of international distribution, copyright and trademark protection, web contracts, technology and rights licensing and foreign investment. Because of his excellent communication skills and business litigation background, he is frequently asked to serve as an arbitrator or mediator. Mel Simburg is a member of the Large Complex Case Panel and the Commercial and Intellectual Property panels for the American Arbitration Association and serves on arbitration panels for ICDR, FINRA and other organizations as well.

Dispute Resolution Experience and Training

Mr. Simburg is a member of the Large Complex Case Panel and the Commercial and Intellectual Property panels for the American Arbitration Association and serves on arbitration panels for ICDR, FINRA and other organizations as well.

He serves as arbitrator or mediator in a variety of business-related disputes, many of which involve cross-border, multi-cultural and/or intellectual property matters. He has resolved a significant number of franchise, licensing and distribution disputes. He has served as a neutral in computer system installations involving up to several million dollars. Internet-related disputes have involved such matters as banking, copy right infringement, trademark infringement, trade dress issues, domain names.

Mr. Simburg has participated in over thirty ADR training sessions in the last 10 years.

Professional and Other Activities

Mr. Simburg serves on State and ABA committees and chairs seminars and symposia here and abroad. He has served as a volunteer attorney for Washington Lawyers for the Arts, Seattle Public Theatre, Seward Park Art Studio and the Faces for Life Project of the Puget Sound Blood and Tissue Center. He was lead counsel for the firm’s representation of the “Best of the USSR Software and Technology Show” held in connection with the 1990 Good Will Games.

Mel Simburg has authored or co-authored several articles and presented at seminars in his areas of special experience. Topics include Use of a Foreign Sales Corporation, Protection of Trademarks, Trade Names and Trade Secrets, Copyright Protection for Foreign Works, Intellectual Property on the Internet and Internet Privacy Policies as well as arbitration and mediation topics. He is the author of the section Proof of Foreign Law for the “Washington State Civil Procedure Deskbook” and is Editor of the ABA’s annual International Intellectual Property Year in Review.

Academic Qualifications

Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1972
Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs, M.I.A., 1972
University of California-Berkeley, B.A.(Citation in Macroeconomics), B.A., 1968