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

Monthly Committee Tele-Meeting & Webinar

October 7, 2016
Time: 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT
Conference line: 1-866-646-6488 or 1-707-287-9583 Access Code: 286 449 8425


1. Go to join the meeting
Webinar Link.

2. Enter your name and email address. (This meeting does not require a password.)

3. Click "Join Now".

Note 1: This program will be presented as a webinar, though you also have the option of just calling in on the conference line above (in which case you would not be able to view the PowerPoint).

Note 2: Although the conference call number remains the same each month, the webinar link changes every time. Therefore, using a webinar link from a previous month's webinar will not work.

Michelle Jernigan and Kimberly Sands, of Upchurch, Watson & Max, will talk about what it is like to be part of an ADR firm. Most mediators and arbitrators view their options as either having their own ADR practice or being part of a law firm. However, some ADR practitioners have come together to form firms and we will get to hear about how that can operate and what the benefits might be for those who are considering different business structures.

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

Rashda Rana, President of ArbitralWomen, will speak about that organization, and provide insight into creating an international ADR practice.

Rashda is a barrister and arbitrator who has over 24 years’ experience in litigation and ADR in London, Australia, Middle East and in the Asia Pacific region. She is a former General Counsel Asia Pacific for one of the world’s leading project management, design and construction companies.
Rashda was an Adjunct Professor teaching international commercial arbitration at Sydney University Law School. She has published two textbooks on ADR and regularly contributes to academic journals.

Rashda is the current President of the ArbitralWomen and was President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia). She has regularly been recognised for her work, including most recently in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific Rankings 2016 (English Bar). Who’s Who Legal Arbitration 2016 says she is “incredibly innovative” and “has a no nonsense approach”.

Section Events

    Before the Arbitration: Sources of Authority, Role of the Arbitrator, and Disclosure


    Program Description : Arbitrations are supposed to resolve conflicts, not create them! But further disputes can arise quickly unless key steps are taken in advance. This webinar will provide a comprehensive overview of the whole arbitration process, with special attention to ...

    First Offers and Counteroffers: Striving for a Solid Start


    Program Description : This webinar will explore why the initial demand or offer can be of profound significance when pursuing resolution through the distributive bargaining process. Among the topics to be discussed: 1) Who goes first? Which party starts the distributive ...

    Drafting Arbitration Clauses to Ease Preparing for the Hearing


    Program Description : This panel is comprised of an advocate, former judge, and former in-house counsel who will explore how a pre dispute clause can be constructed to make the dispute resolution process and the management of the hearing more efficient. The dispute resolution clause can be ...

Newsletters & Publications

Other Links of Interest

Modified by Gina Brown on October 6, 2016

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