Committee Mission

Serving as a leading resource for business and professional development of women Dispute Resolution professionals to ensure them the full scope of opportunities in dispute resolution; outreach to and interacting with women’s networking groups.

Message from theMessage from the Committee Chairs Deborah Hylton and Felicia Boyd

The Women in Dispute Resolution Committee (WIDR) is excited to sponsor the April 2021 issue of Just Resolutions. WIDR was formed in response to the low rates of women being selected as neutrals. Since its formation, WIDR has been a champion of promoting the selection of women and other diverse neutrals in ADR. WIDR was a leader in initiating the development of Resolution 105 and continues to publish an annual directory of members.

According to data analyzed by the ABA, diversity levels within the dispute resolution profession fall significantly below those in the legal profession as a whole. On February 9, 2018, the ABA adopted Resolution 105, which is based on an initiative designed by Women in Dispute Resolution a committee of the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Section. Aimed at a broader base of constituencies, Resolution 105 pointedly issues a call to action for the increased selection of diverse neutrals. To promote this goal, the ABA has provided guidance and directed actions for each class of participants in the dispute resolution ecosystem. 

Featured Articles

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Lessons Learned Shifting Gears to Collaborative Practice

Like many others, I took the recent pandemic as an opportunity to reflect on what I was doing with my career. My introspection led to the realization that not only did transactional business law practice no longer interest me, but I wanted to move to less adversarial dispute resolution, including negotiation support, mediation, and collaborative law. This wholesale shift in my practice meant re-starting my firm and adjusting my consulting offerings.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Playing with the Big Boys, The New Girl’s Club

With Kamala Harris’s recent victory as the first female, first person of color Vice President of the United States, Halima DeLaine Prado’s promotion to General Counsel of Google, and Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court; women are shattering glass ceilings in the legal profession. Perhaps women and people of color will also find more opportunity in the male dominated field of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) when diverse lawyers seek their reflection in the neutrals they chose to resolve disputes.

14th Annual Arbitration Training Institute

Registration is now open for the 14th Annual Arbitration Training Institute, which will be presented live in a virtual online format setting over a period of six days, June 14, 16, 18, 21, 23 & 25. Each day will feature a plenary session commencing at 2:00 p.m. ET, and most plenaries will be followed by facilitated break-out sessions, which will give attendees the opportunity to interact directly with the faculty and fellow attendees.

Register Today!

The Arbitration Training Institute is regarded as the preeminent arbitration training forum, with a faculty consisting of recognized leaders in the arbitration field, including both arbitrators and advocates. The Institute affords experienced arbitrators and advocates an opportunity to increase their knowledge and offers thorough training for newer arbitrators or attorneys seeking to enter into the arbitration field.

The virtual format of this year’s Institute enables registrants to obtain the full benefit of the Institute without incurring any travel or lodging expenses. 

Registration options include the full Institute (the best value!) or participation on a per day basis.

Read the brochure 
Sponsorship Opportunities

D’Alemberte-Raven Award Winner

Professor Benjamin G. Davis, an innovator and leader in the dispute resolution field for several decades, is the recipient of this year’s D’Alemberte-Raven Award, which is the Section’s highest honor and recognizes outstanding service in dispute resolution.

Benjamin G. Davis

 He has written thought-provoking articles on diversity, international arbitration, and online dispute resolution. He is a former chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, a Fellow at the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts, and a recipient of the Champion for Change Award of ArbitralWomen. Professor Davis recently retired from the faculty at the University of Toledo.

The John W. Cooley Lawyer as Problem Solver Award Winner

The Lawyer as Problem Solver Award recognizes an individual or institution that has shown extraordinary skill in promoting the idea embedded in the award’s title or helping resolve problems at an organizational, community, state, national, or international level. Matterhorn, a cloud-based platform that links case management and payment systems, started in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2014, and was the first spin-out of the University of Michigan Law School.


Matterhorn’s dispute resolution processes, which enable courts, agencies, and mediation centers to handle cases online, have helped more than 150 courts, agencies, and centers in 22 states continue to operate in a virtual environment. Matterhorn has also been actively involved in developing standards, research, knowledge, and best practices.

Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work Winner

Dwight Golann is Professor of Law at Suffolk University in Boston and an active mediator of legal disputes. He has led seminars on mediation and mediation advocacy for federal courts, the ABA, state bar associations, the European Union, and law firms and corporations.

Dwight Golann

He is the author of five books, including Mediating Legal Disputes and How to Share a Mediator’s Powers, and is coauthor of three law school texts on dispute resolution. In 2020 he taught and trained for dispute resolution organizations on five continents.

Chair’s Awards Winner

Section Chair Myra Selby awarded the annual Chair’s award to two active members: James J. Alfini and Ana Sambold.

James J. Alfini and Ana Sambold

Alfini, a former Chair of the Section of Dispute Resolution, has served as a delegate to the ABA House of Delegates for several terms and this year worked in partnership with delegate Pamela Enslen and Arbitration Committee leaders to shepherd an arbitration resolution through the ABA House. Alfini also proposed and helped form the Section’s Housing Task Force. Ana Sambold, currently the Section’s budget officer, was the inspiration behind the inaugural Dispute Resolution Tech Expo and worked tirelessly to make the DR Tech Expo a reality in September 2020.

Representation in Mediation Competition 2021 Champions

Isabelle Chapman and Taylor Garner of Texas A&M University law school triumphed over teams from nine other schools in the nationals

Isabelle Chapman and Taylor Garner from Texas A&M University School of Law


  • Florida International University College of Law
  • Fordham University School of Law
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • University of California, Hastings College of Law
  • University of Denver - Sturm College of Law
  • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • University of Missouri School of Law.

Arbitration of "Surprise" (Out of Network) Medical Bills

Member Benefit Webinar (free for members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution)

May 5 at 1 PM EDT

Several states now provide for the arbitration of disputes regarding medical bills from a provider who is not covered by a patient's insurance policy. Often these "surprise" bills pertain to emergency medical services. This webinar explains how two of these programs operate and examines how effective arbitration is in this context.

Swipe Right

Ready to take a deeper dive into the world of dispute resolution? Then join us on May 13th at 7pm (EST) for “Swipe Right” – a networking and mentoring event specifically designed to help connect you with the most successful and respected DR professionals in the country. Learn from the best and create relationships with colleagues in a friendly environment that will last a lifetime.

A Networking and Mentoring Event

The event is only for members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and space is extremely limited. 

Constructive Community Conversations 2: Solution Strategies Roundtable

Member Benefit Webinar (free for members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution)

May 18 at 1 PM EDT

This meeting style program is a follow-up to the December Constructive Community Conversations event which focused on how to facilitate constructive conversations around the roles of all community members in matters concerning racism, policing and the law. Part 2 will bring back legal, law enforcement and bar association thought leaders to discuss current realities and solutions for healing.

Resolutions Podcast

Resolutions is a podcast about all things Dispute Resolution. Hosted by a rotating cast of Section of Dispute Resolution members, the podcast consists of a series of conversations with professionals in the dispute resolution community about various topics of interest.

Barking Up The Right Tree: Pets in Mediation

Anyone in the dispute resolution world knows the value of empowering parties and giving them a voice. But what if their voices are hard to understand—if, for example, they bark rather than speak? Karis Nafte knows all about this—she’s a credentialed mediator and an animal behaviorist who helps work with separating couples on the best solution for their pets. She joined Resolutions to explain how her practice came about and how it works.

For more information on her practice, you can visit

Announcing the 2021 James B. Boskey Law Student Essay Contest on Dispute Resolution

The purpose of this writing competition is to create greater interest in the field of dispute resolution among law students at U.S. law schools.


One prize of $1,000 dollars will be awarded for the best entry as judged by the Boskey Essay Committee, comprised of representatives from the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.

The essay may address any aspect of dispute resolution practice, theory, or research that the contestant chooses.

Visit the Essay Competition site and read the 2021 James Boskey Dispute Resolution Essay Competition Rules for more information.

Entries for the competition must be received by Friday, June 11, 2021.