Monday, July 19, 2010
Judge Dorothy Nelson to Receive ADR Lifetime Achievement Award
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday that Senior Judge Dorothy W. Nelson will be honored with a special ADR Lifetime Achievement Award next month at the 2010 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.
The court said Nelson will be recognized at the annual gathering of the federal bench and bar from the western states for “her many efforts to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve conflicts prior to courtroom litigation.”
The award is scheduled to be presented by U.S. Magistrate Judge Valerie P. Cooke of the District of Nevada during the opening session of the conference, which is set to take place Aug. 16-19 in Hawaii.
Until stepping down as chair earlier this year, Nelson led the Ninth Circuit ADR Committee since its inception in December 1997. She was succeeded as chair by Cooke.
Under Nelson’s leadership, the committee developed an array of ADR tools, including a guidebook for lawyers and litigants, a comprehensive model local rule for district courts and at least seven educational programs, the Circuit Executive’s Office said in a release. The committee also sought to recognize ADR efforts, winning approval from the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit for awards honoring individual and institutional excellence.
Nelson was nominated to the Ninth Circuit by then-President Jimmy Carter in 1979. She assumed senior status in 1995 but continues to hear cases and serve on circuit committees.
Prior to joining the federal bench, she was a member of the faculty of USC’s law school for more than two decades, including service as dean from 1969 to 1980. She attended college and law school at UCLA before joining the State Bar in 1954, and earned an LL.M. from USC in 1956.
Nelson also founded the Western Justice Center in Pasadena, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to improving justice and replicating new conflict resolution methods. She is a recipient of the American Bar Association’s 2000 D’Alemberte/Raven Award for outstanding contributions in the ADR field.
The Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference is held annually pursuant to Section 333 of Title 28 of the U.S. Code “for the purpose of considering the business of the courts and advising means of improving the administration of justice.” In addition to attending business meetings, attendees participate in an educational program focusing on important developments in law, economics, science and other fields.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Justice 2010 and Beyond: Stresses and Timely Strategies.” The agenda includes presentations on terrorist trials, the challenges posed by self-represented litigants and the impact of the economic downturn on the legal profession.
Speakers include Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
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