Updated: March 13, 2023

Dispute Resolution Section

The WSBA Dispute Resolution Section promotes the informed use and best practices for all dispute resolution processes in Washington. Whether mediating, arbitrating or negotiating, every lawyer is a dispute resolution professional. The section is home to many attorneys who are also members of other sections.

The Dispute Resolution Section welcomes and encourages participation of all dispute resolution professionals. You don’t have to be a lawyer or a member of WSBA. This is the community for all dispute resolution professionals: mediators, arbitrators, and lawyers representing and advising their clients.

The Section provides benefits to members by participating in legislative activities that relate to dispute resolution and undertakes projects aimed at increasing the availability and quality of dispute resolution services throughout the state. The Section also sponsors an annual meeting, and provides other dispute resolution educational programs, including co-sponsorship of the annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference.

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Shape Your Section for the Future: Apply Today to Become a Section Leader

Application Deadline is 5 p.m. April 17, 2023.

The following section executive committee positions are open for applications. Regular terms begin Oct. 1, 2023, with remainder terms starting upon election.

  • Vice Chair: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2023, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • Secretary: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2023, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • Treasurer: remainder of current term ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Treasurer: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2023, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • At-Large Member (two positions open): remainder of current term ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • At-Large Member (three positions open): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2023, and ending Sept. 30, 2026.

To learn more about roles and expectations for serving on the section executive committee, review this volunteer position description, which provides a general overview of section executive committee positions—these may differ for each section.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be a current section member and should be eligible to vote in accordance with the section’s bylaws.

Application Process: Go to the myWSBA portal to complete the online application for open executive committee positions. The Section has requested that each applicant submit a resume and statement of interest with your application. These documents can be uploaded with your online application (pdf format only). Please be advised that application materials may be posted on this website for public viewing.

Note: If you are applying for more than one position on this or multiple sections’ committees, you must complete and submit all applications at the same time, as you will not be allowed back into the portal at a later time. Please make sure you are completing the applications within the application window for all of the relevant sections.

Nomination Process: The nominating committee shall consist of the Immediate Past Chair, the current Chair and the Vice Chair, and one Section member who is not currently a voting member of the executive committee. The nominating committee shall nominate one or more members of this Section for each of the offices of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, and for the open At-Large executive committee positions. All applicants will apply through an electronic application process administered by the Association. The executive committee will also have an alternative nominating process to allow for nominations to occur outside of the nominating committee process. The executive committee will approve a list of nominees for each open position. Persons nominated through an alternative nomination process will be included on the final list of approved nominees.

Alternate Nomination Process: A section member may self-nominate or nominate another member by emailing Melvyn Simburg along with the resume and statement of interest from the nominee. Additionally, a section member may self-nominate or be nominated by someone else during a meeting within the nomination timeline. The Nominating Committee will inform the nominee of consideration.

Elections Process: All voting members of the section will receive an electronic ballot sent to their email in June 2023. Visit this webpage in early June for election updates and voting instructions.

For more information about the Section, its executive committee roles, and elections process, please review the Section’s bylaws. You may also contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.


Happy Hour Northwest — First Thursdays Every Month at 5:30 p.m.

Join us via Zoom.

Grab your favorite drink and/or snack and get ready for an adventure into the unknown. As always, this is lighthearted event with like-minded ADR professionals (and maybe a few law students).

The Animating Principles of Happy Hour Northwest:

  • Relax and enjoy: This is time for dispute resolution practitioners to connect and exchange experiences with like-minded individuals.
  • Hear from colleagues: Hot topics, current events, transforming experiences, within or without of DR practice.
  • Everyone welcome: Drop by if you are an arbitrator, attorney, conflict coach, educator, mediator, or other DR-related practitioner.
  • A safe place: Conversations will be constructive, respectful, and remain private among us.

What We Do

The Dispute Resolution Section connects professionals with relevant dispute resolution resources and information:

  • Educational presentations for both neutrals and advocates
  • Unsurpassed networking opportunities with other dispute resolution professionals
  • Cost-effective CLE credits in dispute resolution

How We Do It

The Dispute Resolution Section has an Executive Committee and five standing committees:

Click on any of the committee group pages above to learn more, see how they can help you in your dispute resolution practice and how you can get involved.

Executive Committee

Chair: Courtland Shafer (2022-2024)

Vice Chair: Vacant

Secretary: Dee Knapp (2022-2023)

Treasurer: Lauren Novack (2022-2023)

Immediate Past Chair: Melvyn Simburg (2022-2024)

Board of Governors Liaison*: Jordan Couch (2022-2023) and Nam Nguyen (2022-2023)

Young Lawyer LiaisonKyle Berti (2021-2023)

At-Large Members:

Carol Dianne Betts (2020-2023)
Alan Alhadeff (2020-2023)
Melissa Fuller (2022-2023)
VACANT (2022-2024)
Lish Whitson (2022-2025)
Christopher Casillas (2022-2025)
Paula Emery (2022-2025)
VACANT (2022-2024)


The Dispute Resolution Section Executive Committee conducts meetings on the third Friday of each month, beginning at noon and concluding by 1:30 p.m.

Executive Committee meetings are currently being conducted by teleconference only. You may attend virtually by calling 669-900-6833 and using access code 8824651313#. Please contact committee members for any other details on their upcoming meetings.

To learn more about the benefits of section membership, see the Dispute Resolution Section website, contact any member of the Executive Committee or contact membership@wsba-adr.org.

Join Our List Serve 

The DR Section list serve is a great way to connect with your fellow dispute resolution professionals. Members on the list serve are now able to post directly to the list serve. In order to foster a welcoming and productive environment, the DR Section Executive Committee has adopted general list serve guidelines and section-specific list serve guidelines. To join the section list serve and for general section questions, please send your email address and Bar number to sections@wsba.org.