Tim Lewis Published “Promoting Diversity in Mediation” as the Cover Story in CPR’s Alternatives NewsletterOn July 20, 2018 by Schnader
Hon. Timothy K. Lewis published a commentary, “Promoting Diversity in Mediation,” as the cover story in Alternatives, the newsletter of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR). The commentary by Judge Lewis is adapted and expanded from a keynote presentation he delivered at the CPR Institute’s Regional Meeting in Philadelphia on April 10, 2018. Judge Lewis is co-chair of Schnader’s ADR Practice Group and serves as a mediator, arbitrator, settlement counselor, and trial and appellate practitioner.
“In mediation, open-mindedness is critical. Varied life experiences are, too. But the way mediators are selected actually penalizes women and people of color . . .
And that’s not just sad; it’s stupid. It just makes no sense to exclude people who might otherwise bring not only some of the professional characteristics that are so important, but also the life experiences that contribute to finding pathways to resolution of difficult issues.
But the tendency to prefer seasoned, established alternative dispute resolution specialists, the overwhelming majority of whom are white males, makes it extremely difficult for other talented, capable mediators to have even the opportunity to demonstrate their skill.
And when unconscious race and gender bias are factored in, it’s no wonder that the ADR profession remains perhaps the single most segregated field in the law. We know this is wrong, and it must change.”