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Recently, the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association prepared the report: IF NOT NOW, WHEN? Achieving Equality For Women In The Courtroom and In ADR. With the full support and commitment of the section’s leadership, these female alumnae section chairs met and formed an ad hoc task force devoted to the issue of the apparent dearth of women litigators in the courtroom and women who serve as arbitrators and mediators in complex commercial and international arbitrations and mediations. Based on the survey results, the task force found continued disparity and gender imbalance in the courtroom and ADR cases.
On February 6, 2018, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates unanimously approved a resolution affirming that women attorneys remain considerably underrepresented in courtrooms and in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and outlined steps that can be taken by the judiciary, law firms, clients and ADR providers to address this disparity.
The measure is based on a New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) report entitled If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR, and was presented to the ABA by NYSBA President Sharon Stern Gerstman. “The approval by the ABA of this groundbreaking report underscores the importance of ensuring that women and diverse voices are empowered and able to play an active role throughout the judicial and dispute resolution process,” Gerstman said. “This is an issue of fundamental fairness and justice, and with agreement regarding the scope of the problem, we can now work together most effectively to address it.”
Expert faculty will:
- Discuss how we can move the needle with the support of law firms, in-house counsel, outside counsel, ADR providers and neutrals to establish procedures and policies to increase the appointment of women and minorities as hearing officers in complex commercial ADR cases; and
- Address how law firms must establish formal programs through which management and heads of litigation departments ensure that women and minority associates are provided with the opportunity to argue motions in court.
NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation)
Elizabeth A. Edmundson
Jenner & Block LLP
Carrie B. Freed
PMI Global Services Inc.
Sharon M. Porcellio
Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC