HARRISBURG (June 3, 2004) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee recently named Philadelphia lawyer Judy Shopp as the first recipient of the annual Sir Francis Bacon Dispute Resolution Award. The award, which was presented during the association’s annual meeting in Hershey May 13-15, is given for excellence in alternative dispute resolution.
Sir Francis Bacon (1516-1626) was a Renaissance writer and served British monarchs in a legal capacity as knight, attorney general and solicitor. He authored the essay “Of Negotiating,” which features the frequently-quoted line: “It is generally better to deal by speech than by letter, and by the mediation of a third than by a man’s self.”
Shopp has served the field of alternative dispute resolution in many capacities. She is a past chair of the PBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Futures Commission’s Alternative Paths to Justice Task Force and, most recently, served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Taskforce on Medical Malpractice.
For many years, Shopp’s efforts have brought together legal and nonlegal dispute resolvers to collaborate on credentialing, legislation, education and the development of community and court programs. She has worked with both the legal and nonlegal ADR community to introduce and pursue legislation to establish a Statewide Office of Dispute Resolution, which would coordinate ADR efforts and projects across the commonwealth.
One of Shopp’s special interests is dispute resolution in the family court and the benefits it provides to families and children through the use of education classes, mediation and arbitration. She has obtained grants in this area and developed successful programs and trainings for family mediators in several county common pleas courts in the commonwealth.