December 2016 Bar Bulletin
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December 2016 Bar Bulletin

KCBA Launches ADR Referral Service

By Lori Buchsbaum


Now available — an easy, convenient and user-friendly way to find mediators and arbitrators.

KCBA launched a pilot dispute resolution and conflict management platform on October 20 in coordination with celebrations of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) around the world. The new platform will operate in parallel with KCBA’s existing Lawyer Referral Service (LRS).

Having launched the service initially as a pilot program, we are in the process of developing mediation and arbitration panels. Please consider joining either or both panels. Applications and qualifications are available at or you can request them by contacting Lesa Henry at

Take advantage of the new referral service. If you are in need of a mediator or arbitrator, avail yourself of our panel of experts. They can be accessed through LRS (see the LRS webpage at for details). Refer represented or pro se parties to this page and encourage them to explore non-litigated options to resolving their conflicts. We have already had great success helping parties who did not know ADR was an option.

The ambitious intentions of KCBA’s newest program are to:

• create a robust, interdisciplinary platform that reflects dynamic industry trends;

• meet community needs for flexible, swift and affordable dispute resolution choices;

• support the strategic objectives of the Escalating Cost of Litigation Task Force; and

• increase community awareness regarding ADR, while supporting the business goals of ADR providers.

This initiative emerged from nine months of prodigious effort by ADR Section members, in close collaboration with KCBA leadership. As section chair, I am very excited about this dynamic and creative approach to meeting the needs of clients in conflict.

Estera Gordon of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP said, “My goal for this program is that it will provide a useful resource to King County lawyers, businesses and residents, helping them resolve disputes with less frustration and greater satisfaction than traditional litigation models afford.”

Mel Simburg of Simburg, Ketter, Sheppard & Purdy LLP, also is optimistic about the new program. “Although the Lawyer Referral Service is viewed as an easy way for the public to find access to a lawyer, this new panel is intended to serve a broader purpose,” Simburg said.

“It can be a vehicle for consumers of legal services to find an alternative way to resolve disputes. In addition, this new program will create an easy way for attorneys to find mediators and arbitrators appropriate for disputes or other matters. Whether attorneys are looking for an ADR approach for a client or for their own partnership issues, the panel will have a number of experienced members who can provide assistance tailored to the specific problem.”

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