February 21, 2020

February 2020 - Diversity Committee


The Diversity Committee is excited to share resources that can help all of us learn from diverse perspectives. We strive for equity, inclusivity, and respect for all manner of diverse groups. We aim to increase diversity within the dispute resolution profession and to enable access to dispute resolution within diverse communities. The focus of this newsletter is to encourage efforts to increase diverse representation and to integrate broader perspectives into our practices.  

All practitioners are encouraged to access our recent webinar and handout that teaches lessons to help all practitioners incorporate gender, culture, and disability considerations into their practices. This newsletter also shares articles on understanding diversity, on addressing the challenge of “difficult clients” without inadvertently becoming discriminatory, and on entrepreneurship and diversity in ADR. We ask that you fill out our three-question survey to help us develop future programming or get involved with our committee.

Dan Berstein and Rebekah Ratliff, Chairs, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Diversity Committee

Survey: Help Us Do Diversity

Please complete the anonymous three-question survey below by Sunday March 1st. It will help us with programming this year.  Leave your e-mail if you want to get involved!

Diversity Committee Survey

Featured Articles

How to Deal With “Difficult Clients” Without Discriminating
By Dan Berstein

Dispute resolvers are experts in dealing with all kinds of challenging conflict behaviors, yet too often we lose sight of our duty of impartiality. Many trainings teach practitioners to identify so-called “difficult clients,” to surreptitiously diagnose them as high-conflict, and then to treat them in a specialized way. These trainings mean well but they often lead to inadvertent discrimination. Read more

Entrepreneurship, ADR, and Diversity
By Natalie Armstrong-Motin

I was recently asked, “As a woman of color should I be marketing my practice differently?” Diversity is something we talk about a lot, and it has become a buzzword of sorts. The idea of diversity and the sometimes-heated debate it creates, has been written about, talked about, marched for and against, and legislated…But is it important as entrepreneurs? Read more

Inclusion Speaks Louder Than Words 
By Rebekah Ratliff

Diversity is defined as “distinct in kind; unlike; having variety in form.” The broad definition of diversity includes not only diversity of race, gender and age, but diversity in thought, skill sets, sexual orientation, mental health/disability and personal/professional culture. Read more

Integrating Diversity webinar

The Integrating Diversity Perspectives into Our Practices webinar is free to members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. All dispute resolution professionals can learn from diverse perspectives to improve their practices. In this webinar, speakers will highlight ways to incorporate gender perspectives, cultural perspectives, and disability perspectives to make our practices more accessible, sensitive, and inclusive.

Spring Conference Registration Now Open

New Orleans Sheraton
April 22 – 25, 2020

Join dispute resolution experts from all over the globe at the 2020 Spring Conference in New Orleans. Registration is now open.

The conference programs will explore the new techniques, technologies, and methodologies that are being developed and used by dispute resolution advocates, neutrals, and legal educators.

Visit the conference website for the conference schedule at a glance, online conference program, and conference hotel and travel information.

Sponsorship, advertising, and exhibiting opportunities are available. Use this opportunity to promote yourself or your organization to a group of interested dispute resolution professionals.

2020 Spring Conference Sponsorship, Exhibiting, and Advertising Opportunities

The Section receives the ABA Diversity & Inclusion Champions Award

The Section receives the ABA Diversity & Inclusion Champions Award

Section Chair Joan Stearns Johnsen and Chair-Elect Myra Selby accepted the ABA Diversity & Inclusion Champions Award that was presented to the Section of Dispute Resolution on February 15, 2020.

Dispute Resolution Section Wins Diversity Award

The Dispute Resolution Section has been selected by the Commission on Ethnic and Racial Diversity in the Profession as an awardee of the Diversity Champions Award! The award was presented at the Spirit of Excellence luncheon during ABA’s Midyear Meeting in Austin, TX on Saturday, February 15.  

Upcoming Webinars

Dispute Resolution in Health Care: What's Working?
March 4

Top-notch mediators and arbitrators will describe the cases they are seeing and what they have learned--the easy way or the hard way--about how to get them resolved.

Humor Survey

Section Members are invited to participate in the Diversity Icebreaker and Humor Profiler. The Diversity Icebreaker is an established tool mapping communication and cooperation styles and is used to help find common ground, build trust, and to communicate and cooperate better with others across differences. The understanding of "diversity" in this context goes beyond the traditional paradigm where demographic characteristics, race and gender are central, and focuses on the psychological and cognitive diversity of individual preferences. The Humor Profiler is a research tool aimed at measuring humor use relevant for team and organizational context. 

Directory of Women in Dispute Resolution

The 2020 WIDR Member Directory of ADR Practitioners is a resource for those seeking to hire women as dispute resolution neutrals. The Directory includes names, specific practice areas, types of practice, and geographic location along with links to practitioner web sites.

Representation in Mediation Competition

Regionals of the ABA Representation in Mediation competition are taking place across the country in February and March. If you are attending the spring conference in New Orleans, consider serving as a volunteer mediator or judge for the National Finals of the competition on April 22nd or 23rd. For more information on how to volunteer, click here.

New Book Release

Litigation Interest and Risk Assessment: Help Your Clients Make Good Litigation Decisions
By Michaela Keet, Heather Dianne Heavin and John Lande

Litigation Interest and Risk Assessment fills a void in the library of practice guides about assessment

of parties’ interests and risks in litigation. It is a must-read for litigators and mediators who care deeply about their clients and want to help them as they struggle to deal with their problems through the legal system. After reading this guide you will be able to:

  • Recognize and avoid common decision-making errors in litigation
  • Anticipate likely court outcomes more accurately
  • Communicate with clients about what’s most important to them in their case
  • Help clients make better decisions
  • Negotiate and mediate more effectively
  • Learn about technological tools to help make decisions in litigation

Non-Members: $59.96
ABA Members: $53.96
DR Section Members: $47.96

To order: CALL (800) 285-2221 or visit ShopABA.org

Dispute Resolution Magazine - The Criminal Justice Issue

The most recent issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine issue tackles the intersection of criminal justice reform and dispute resolution.

If after you have finished reading this edition of Dispute Resolution Magazine, you want to learn more about innovative applications of mediation skills to criminal justice, the Dispute Resolution Magazine editorial board recommends Can Restorative Justice Save The Internet?, an edition of NPR’s “On the Media,” that focuses on restorative justice as an alternative to prison and a cure for the toxicity of the internet.

13th Annual Arbitration Institute

2020 Arbitration Institute at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Phoenix, AZ is sold out. You can still register to be put on a wait list and to be the first to hear about the location and dates for the 2021 Arbitration Institute.

International Ombudsman Association Annual Conference

March 30 to April 1, 2020

15th Annual International Ombudsman Association Conference in Portland, Oregon. The IOA will be celebrating the theme of Vision 2020: Innovation, Importance, and Integrity in Ombuds Work.  https://www.ioaconference.org/

Publish with the ABA

The Dispute Resolution Section is seeking new books for its publishing program! Prospective topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Mediation—advanced practice tips
  • Arbitration—especially in the international arena
  • Ombuds
  • The intersections of new technology and dispute resolution
  • The intersections of social science and dispute resolution
  • Guidance for developing and managing a dispute resolution practice
  • Guidance for marketing a dispute resolution practice

If you are considering writing a book, we encourage you to contact ABA Publishing Executive Editor Sarah Craig at sarah.craig@americanbar.org to discuss your project and its potential fit with the Section’s publishing program.

ABA Publications Sale

Save 25% on some of the Section's newest releases and best sellers.

Use code DRWINTER20 - TO SAVE 25%