American Bar Association
Section of Dispute Resolution: Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR) Committee

Section of Dispute Resolution:
Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR) Committee

Who We Are

We are Dispute Resolution professionals committed to ensuring the full scope of opportunities are available to women in the profession. We provide business resources and a supportive community to move ourselves and each other forward.

View the WIDR Member Directory of ADR Practitioners.

Our Goals and Objectives:

  • to assess the status of women in Dispute Resolution professions and academia
  • to identify whether there are barriers that prevent women from full participation in Dispute Resolution professions
  • to determine whether women are considered for--and appointed to--all types, sizes, and complexities of cases
  • to develop positive and proactive initiatives to increase women's participation in the Dispute Resolution professions
  • to interact with women’s networking groups in the bar associations, trade organizations, and other related groups of professionals
  • to mentor women and other underrepresented Dispute Resolution professionals

Women in ADR: Practice Snapshot Survey Report

One of the goals of the WIDR Committee has been to change how neutral selection occurs in disputes, to increase the number of women who serve as neutrals, and to ensure that women and minorities were proportionally represented as neutrals. The first step, before suggesting changes, was to understand the current situation in the world of dispute resolution. In fall 2012, the Section of Dispute Resolution surveyed the lawyers belonging to the section to determine how mediators and arbitrators are selected in legal cases and the types of cases being resolved through the many available dispute resolution processes. Specifically, the survey was designed to examine who is being selected as a neutral, by whom, using what process, and for what types of cases. This report explains the methodology of the survey, the demographics of the respondents and neutrals involved in particular cases, and, most importantly, the information about neutral selection. Read the full report here.

Updates on Meetings & Projects

September Program - An Expert's View of Mediation and Arbitration

Guest Speaker: Denise Martini, Senior Managing Engineer in Exponent’s Construction Consulting practice

Listen to the September meeting and Denise Martini's presentation (this link will be available until October 8, 2016)

August Program – WIDR Business Meeting at ABA Annual Meeting

July Program - The Diver$ity Payoff & Tools to Become Diversity Champions

Guest Speaker: Sheryl L. Axelrod, Esq., Founder of The Axelrod Firm, P.C.

June Program - Building a Better Bio for Business Development

Guest Speaker: Traci Stuart, President of Blattel Communications

May Program - Co-Mediation Experiences and Recommendations

Guest Speakers: Jane Juliano, ADR Unit Chief at the US Office of Special Counsel, and Deirdre McCarthy Gallagher, President and Founder of Voices of Value, LLC

April Program – WIDR Business Meeting at Annual Spring Conference

March Program – Market Trends in ADR and Selection of Neutrals

Guest Speaker: India Johnson, President of American Arbitration Association

February Program – Gender Bias in Selection of ADR Professionals

Guest Speaker: Barbara Bryant, Mediator and Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley Law School

January Program – Breathe Life Into Your Office With Products That Work

Guest Speaker: Kacy Paide, The Inspired Office

December Program – Clients’ Perspectives on Mediation

Guest Speakers: Katherine M. Kimpel, Esq., Executive Board Member and D.C. Managing Partner, and Kate Mueting, Esq., Partner and Senior Litigation Counsel, Sanford Heisler LLP

November Program – Building Common Ground to Reduce Grounds for Conflict

Guest Speaker: Michael Randel, Randel Consulting Associates

*Download Michael's Presentation*

Join Us



Turitz, Gilda
Weiner, Conna

Committee Roster  

Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

Cutting Edge Issues in Commercial Arbitration (Live Event in Boston)

September 22, 2016
Join experienced neutrals Jim McGuire of JAMS and BLC ADR and AAA Panel Member Conna Weiner for a spirited discussion of consumer and commercial arbitration. They will outline the criticisms and risks of commercial arbitration and identify the key tools that will mitigate them, helping to create the business-friendly and efficient arbitration that the business community wants.

There is no registration fee for this program, but RSVP is required. Please visit the Event URL to RSVP.

Monthly Committee Tele-Meeting

October 7, 2016
Time: 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT
Conference line: 1-866-6466488 or 1-707-2879583 Access Code: 286 449 8425

Michelle Jernigan and Kimberly Sands, of Upchurch, Watson & Max, will talk about what it is like to be part of an ADR firm.

Michelle Jernigan was one of the first mediators to be certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a civil circuit mediator. See her full profile at

Kimberly Sands has been practicing law in Florida for over 30 years. See her full profile at

Monthly Committee Tele-Meeting

November 4, 2016
Time: 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT
Conference line: 1-866-6466488 or 1-707-2879583 Access Code: 286 449 8425
Section Events

    How to Preserve Your Record for Appellate Review


    How to Preserve Your Record for Appellate Review

    Arbitration Case Law - Annual Update Webinar


    Program Description : Back by popular demand, a panel of experts will take a fresh look at the most important arbitration issues and decisions over the past year. Among other topics: United States Supreme Court rulings on arbitration including Direct TV v. Imburgia and Campbell-Ewald ...

    Successfully Mediating Healthcare False Claims Act Cases


    The event will be held on 09/29/2016. The format is Web. The event sponsor(s) are Center for Professional Development,Section of Dispute Resolution,Health Law Section. The event has 1.50 CLE Credits .

Newsletters & Publications

Other Links of Interest

Modified by Gina Brown on September 21, 2016

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