Committee Mission

To make the Committee a “go-to” home for mediators intent on becoming the best.

Message from the Committee Chairs Susan Guthrie, Judith Starr, and Edd McDevitt

Welcome to the March issue of Just Resolutions, sponsored by the Mediation Committee.  Our theme is Diversity, Inclusion, and Community-Building. We want to express our thanks to Gabrielle Hartley, Doug Witten, and Abigail Ony Nwaohuocha for devising the theme and curating this issue. Now, more than ever, we need mechanisms and safe spaces for expressing disagreements and resolving conflict, and this issue presents several visions for getting us there.

Facilitation is a technique that is not always in the top drawer of our toolbox in the mediation community. Author Linda Gerstel reminds us that facilitation is the art of making a conversation easy and safe, enabling participants to share willingly. Her article emphasizes the use of facilitative techniques to address the divisive issues that have undercut trust in our social institutions. 

Community mediation centers aim to provide access to conflict management to the underserved. Authors Rae Kyritsi and Missy Greathouse provide valuable insights on how to develop such programs anchored in the needs and voice of the community.

Finally, Daya Naef discusses how mediators can be fully present and look past their own biases to the real person on either side of the issue. That includes being alert to what is not said as well as to what is said.

We hope this issue provides food for thought on the challenges ahead and we look forward to continuing the conversation with our fellow ABA Section of Dispute Resolution members.

Judith Starr, Susan Guthrie, and Edd McDevitt
Mediation Committee Co-Chairs

Featured Articles

2021 Leadership Nominations are due April 1

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.

Spring Conference is Around the Corner

Join us as we gather the dispute resolution community – virtually in April 2021! Attend cutting edge CLE programs, group discussions, social hours, chat boards with plenty of networking opportunities, all from the convenience of your home on your computer or mobile device.

Register Today!

Registration for the 2021 Virtual Spring Conference will close on April 13th. Register by 5 pm ET on Tuesday, April 13th to participate in the conference’s educational programs and networking events. 

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.

Building the Pipeline: Introducing the Section’s Student & Early Career Services Outreach

In this episode, Rekha Rangachari sits down with Elliot Herland (Vice Chair of the Section's Membership Committee) and Kanika (Niki) Singh (the Section’s Student Liaison) to discuss a new avenue for student and practitioner members to increase their engagement, connection, networking, and mentorship with stakeholders through the Section.

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 

2021 Representation in Mediation Competition

The ABA Law School Representation in Mediation Competition will be all virtual this year. Nine law schools hosted virtual regional competitions and ten teams have advanced to the Nationals on April 9-10th.

Volunteers Needed

Members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution are encouraged to volunteer as judges or mediators for the regional and national competitions. 

ABA Resolution 100 supports Arbitration

On February 22, the ABA House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to adopt Resolution 100 which states: "RESOLVED, that the American Bar Association supports the use of arbitration of business-to-business disputes, both domestically and internationally, as an efficient and economical method of dispute resolution." Since the House of Delegates is the ABA's policy-making body, the ABA now officially endorses commercial arbitration as a matter of policy.

Resolution from the Arbitration Committee

The Resolution and accompanying Report was sponsored by the Section of Dispute Resolution which organized a Joint Study Committee to work on the issues. Section Arbitration Committee members took the lead in the Joint Committee. Ed Lozowicki served as Chair, and David Tenner, Harout Samra, Tom Hanrahan, Gary Benton, and Peter Merrill served as members. Arbitrators and lawyers representing the Litigation, Business Law, and Infrastructure & Regulated Industries Section also served on the Joint Committee. The composition of the Committee reflected a successful strategy of gathering strong support for the Resolution from multiple constituencies within the ABA.

As a result of these efforts the ABA now endorses business-to-business arbitration as a matter of policy. This should assist the Section of Dispute Resolution and the Arbitration Committee and in promoting the many advantages of commercial arbitration.