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October 02, 2019

With an emphasis on diversity, ABA sponsors annual national Mediation Week celebration

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2019 — The American Bar Association’s annual Mediation Week celebration begins Oct. 13, with a theme of “The Importance of Using Diverse Neutrals” as well as programs planned for the nation’s capital and other U.S. cities.

Mediation Week, organized by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, celebrates the efforts of national, state and local organizations that have traditionally highlighted conflict resolution during the month of October. This year’s events focus around the importance of selecting diverse neutrals, who serve as neutral interveners or mediators.

In August 2018, the ABA House of Delegates approved Resolution 105, which reaffirmed that the ABA goal of diversity and “full and equal participation in the legal profession” applies to the alternative dispute resolution arena, giving rise to this year’s theme of Mediation Week.

In Washington, D.C., the section’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter will host a program on Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 5-7 p.m. ET, focusing on the importance of diversifying the community of neutrals as well as reviewing developments since the passage of Resolution 105. The event will be at the ABA D.C. offices, 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW, fifth floor.

Program participants will include Arthur Pearlstein, director of Arbitration Services for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services; Ann Lesser, vice president of the American Arbitration Association’s Labor, Employment and Elections Section and chair of the its Diversity Initiative; and Homer LaRue, former chair of the Section of Dispute Resolution.

Mediation Week dates to 2011, when the ABA declared October as a time to celebrate efforts to resolve differences through mediation and related ways to resolve legal differences. Click here for additional information, including a toolkit that provides resources and sample materials related to Mediation Week.

Media are invited to attend Mediation Week activities, including the Oct. 22 event at the ABA offices. A list of other programs planned in conjunction with Mediation Week can be found here. The list will be updated periodically. If interested in more information on any specific event, please contact the local organizing group or email [email protected]. 

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.