Diversity Committee Mission

Strive for diversity within the dispute resolution profession and to have it mirror the diversity of our society.

Message From the Chairs

2020 brought diversity issues into the forefront, and the Section of Dispute Resolution rose to meet them. This issue of Just Resolutions spotlights the steps we took to have important conversations about the racism systemic in our society, and the representation issues throughout our professional community. 

We need your help to translate the engagement we've experienced into meaningful action. That is why we have included articles detailing lessons learned from our programming and next steps, and we have included links to replays of past programs so you can directly access these insights.

In particular, we direct your attention to our work on increasing the selection of diverse neutrals. 

Click here to join our e-mail list of people interested in helping these efforts. You can also submit an optional, brief 3-question survey to share your ideas. 

We look forward to working together to make a difference in 2021.

Dan Berstein and Rebekah Ratliff,
Diversity Committee Co-Chairs

Featured Articles

2021 Leadership Nominations are now open!

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolutions is seeking nominations for leadership positions, including Section Council and officer positions. The Section of Dispute Resolution is a vibrant community and a forum for networking, professional development, and user insights. It provides accessible, relevant and cutting-edge information, practice tips and skill-building opportunities.

If you are not a leader in the Section, consider the benefits of serving as one:

  • If you are not a leader in the Section, consider the benefits of serving as one:
  • Exhibiting your knowledge and reputation in the area of dispute resolution
  • Demonstrating leadership skills with hands-on experience.
  • Establishing credentials as a leader in the field
  • Contributing to thought leadership in the dispute resolution field
  • Establishing lasting professional relationships
  • Collaborating with a diverse group of dispute resolution professionals from the United States and around the world

Review the “Become a Leader” document for information about the positions available and the nominations process.

Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2021.

Cybersecurity: Safeguarding Case Data

The protection and privacy of customer and case-related information should be a top priority for all dispute resolution professionals.

February 3 at 1 PM EST

Join us for an insightful discussion with cybersecurity thought leaders Diana Didia, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the American Arbitration Association, and Gary Benton of the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center on what you need to do to keep information safe.


Diversion: A Rehabilitative Approach to Reduce Gun Crime

The National District Attorneys Association in partnership with the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Gun Violence will host a one-hour webinar panel discussion that will review types of both prosecution led and court diversion programs for gun offenses.

March 2 at 2 PM EST

Speakers will discuss the experience of Minneapolis and Hennepin County with their existing formalized court gun offense diversion programs, and the prosecutor-led gun offense diversion program being considered in East Baton Rouge.     


Help Clients by Combining “Facilitative” and “Evaluative” Mediation

Do you want to help clients by ethically and appropriately combining “facilitative” and “evaluative” mediation techniques?

March 3 at 1 PM EST

Professor John Lande will describe how you can do this based on his new ABA book, Litigation Interest and Risk Assessment: Help Your Clients Make Good Litigation Decisions, co-authored with Michaela Keet and Heather Heavin.

Save the Date - Advanced Training on Mediation of Health Care Disputes and Race and Gender Fairness

Presented by the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators. Presenters include DR Section Chair Myra Selby, Homer La Rue, and Linda Warren Seely.

March 12, 2021

Program Summary:

  • Myra Selby on Mediation of Health Care Disputes: this advanced training on will address typical health care disputes, what makes health care mediation different, and the mediation process.
  • Prof. La Rue will discuss The 2005 Model Standards: More than a Decade Old, Are They Obsolete?
  • A panel discussion on Race and Gender Fairness in ADR led by Ms. Selby will consider ADR as the least diverse corner of the legal profession. Homer La Rue will present the results of his empirical research on diversity in the selection of dispute neutrals, discuss unconscious/implicit bias, and propose his “Ray Corollary Initiative.” Linda Warren Seely will share her insights as a mediator and Executive Director of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. Arrin K. Richards will report on the Nashville Bar Association’s Diversity Action Plan. Leon Berrios will share his experiences as a translator and mediator in Nashville.

Sponsor the 2021 Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference!

There are 6 (six) Sponsorship Package Opportunities that include extensive advertising, exhibit booths, access to participant databases, podcasts featuring your organization/firm, and much more. There are also individual sponsorships for arbitrators and mediators.

Conference registration now open!

Our theme is Agility, Disruption and Reinvention: ADR in a New World. We will gather hundreds from around the dispute resolution community worldwide! There will be CLE programs, group discussions, social hours, chat boards and networking opportunities. 

Find out more by reading the 2021 Spring Conference Sponsorship Packet

2020-2021 Representation in Mediation Competition

The ABA Law School Representation in Mediation Competition will be all virtual this year. Eight law schools from across the country have stepped up to host virtual regional competitions in late February or early May: Quinnipiac University School of Law, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law, Cardozo School of Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Southwestern Law School.

Volunteer for the 2020-2021 Representation in Mediation Competition

There will be multiple opportunities for lawyers and mediators to volunteer at regional competitions and the National Finals. View the various volunteer opportunities.