Section News

Catch up on everything that is happening at the Section, from new committee chairs and activities, to events and opportunities.

New Bar Year Brings New Leaders

On August 4, 2018, the Section of Dispute Resolution membership voted on officers and council members for the 2018-2019 bar year that began on September 1, 2018. Page 2 in this magazine lists all of the Section Council members, including officers, at-large members, and liaisons. You can find more information about the current Chair, Harrie Samaras, as well as a listing of Section committee, task force, and board chairs, on the following pages.  

Resolution 105 Passes ABA House of Delegates

The Diversity in ADR Resolution 105, initiated by the Section of Dispute Resolution's Women in Dispute Resolution Committee, was unanimously passed by the ABA House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting in August. Resolution 105 urges providers of domestic and international dispute resolution to expand their rosters with minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities (“diverse neutrals”) and to encourage the selection of diverse neutrals. The resolution also urges all users of domestic and international legal and neutral services to select and use diverse neutrals.

First Ombuds Day Set for October 11

This year will mark the inaugural Ombuds Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the role, function, and value that ombuds provide. On October 11, 2018, ombuds, institutional stakeholders and partners, and constituents from around the country were scheduled to come together to celebrate. Some key highlights include: proclamations signed by numerous state and local governments, professional associations, and universities declaring the second Thursday of October Ombuds Day; an active and engaging social media campaign, and multiple events hosted by ombuds programs. The Ombuds Day Task Force’s evening reception at the ABA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, was to include opening remarks from Charles Howard, the author of The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles, and Operations: A Legal Guide,
as well as discussions with ombuds from the US Department of Energy, the Internal Revenue Service, the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and a number of academic and contract ombuds. Save the date for next year’s Ombuds Day, which will be October 10, 2019.

Section Holds Virtual Conference on Relational Practice

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Task Force on Relational Practice organized a virtual conference from September 4 through September 7, 2018. The topics and the format were innovative. Twenty-one programs were presented, some as prerecorded webinars and some as live events varying six to 60 minutes. All the programs explored the so called “soft skills” used in relational practice. You can still register for the program, access the recordings of all 21 programs, and find more information about the conference on the Section of Dispute Resolution’s website, 

Representation in Mediation Competition
Registration Begins in Late October

Registration for the 20th annual Representation in Mediation Competition will open by the end of October 2018. Regional Competitions will take place at law schools across the country in late February and early March 2019, and the National Finals will be held on April 10 and April 11, 2019, in conjunction with the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference in Minneapolis. For more information about the competition, visit the awards and competitions section of the Section of Dispute Resolution website:

Starting with this Fall Issue, Dispute Resolution Magazine Goes Digital

Starting with this Fall 2018 issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine, all members of the Section of Dispute Resolution will receive a digital, rather than print, version of the magazine, although all lawyer and associate members can still choose to receive a print version by mail if they specifically request this. To receive the next issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine, Winter 2019, in print, you must opt-in at before December 14, 2018. Visit or look for MyABA at the top of the ABA's website at

Dispute Resolution Magazine Board Announces Four New Members

The editorial board of the magazine welcomes four new members: Heather Scheiwe Kulp from Concord, NH; Sun Pillai from Pittsburgh, PA, Sharon Press from St. Paul, MN. and Lionel Schooler from Houston, TX. At the same time, we say farewell to James Coben and Donna Stienstra, two long-time, hard-working members of the editorial board who have been on the board since 2012 and are the co-editors of the bi-annual “Research Insights” feature. They will continue to edit this feature as past board members.