Updated: Nov. 7, 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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The Dispute Resolution Section offers many resources and benefits for members. On this page you will find information about the section, upcoming events, as well as information about the section's executive committee.

Section Information

Happy Hour Northwest

Executive Committee

Executive Committee Meetings


Happy Hour Northwest — 6:30 p.m. First Thursday Every Month 

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.

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Section Information

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.

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Executive Committee

Chair: Courtland Shafer (2022-2024)

Vice Chair: Paula Emery (2023-2024)

Immediate Past Chair: Melvyn Simburg (2022-2024)

Secretary: Dee Knapp (2023-2024)

Treasurer: Lauren Novack (2023-2024)

Young Lawyer Liaison: Vacant

Board of Governors Liaison*: Kristina Larry (2023-2024)

*Nonvoting member

At-Large Members:

Vacant (2021-2024)
Vacant (2021-2024)
Christopher Casillas (2022-205)
Lish Whiston (2022-2025)
Vacant (2022-2025)
Melissa Fuller (2023-2026)


Bob Oberstein
Jody Suhrbier
Ted Hunter

Executive Committee Meetings

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 following this link to the Zoom Meeting, or by calling 253-215-8782 and using passcode 12345. Please contact committee members for any other details on their upcoming meetings.

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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.