2007 Awardee

HARRISBURG (June 4, 2007) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will honor the late Mark A. Welge with its annual Sir Francis Bacon Dispute Resolution Award.

Welge, the president of Welge Dispute Solutions L.L.C., Newtown Square, died of cancer in January. His wife, Louise M. Welge, will accept the award during the association's annual meeting on June 20 in Philadelphia.

"Mark was one of Pennsylvania's most highly-skilled lawyers in the use of mediation and arbitration to avoid adversarial courtroom proceedings, and he freely shared his expertise," said Louis Coffey, a member of the PBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. "Countless hours of his time were devoted to professional organizations that encourage and support colleagues and newcomers in the field."

Welge was a member of the PBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, serving as committee chair from 2001 to 2005.

He was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Conflict Resolution Initiative, which works with the Pennsylvania legislature, Supreme Court and governor to implement alternative dispute programs. In 2003, he was appointed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve on the Medical Malpractice Medication Task Force, charged with implementing policies and practices for the mediation of medical malpractice cases. In 2004, he was appointed to the PBA's Health Care Task Force, charged with developing recommendations for resolving the commonwealth's health care crisis.

Welge was president of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution. He was a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators.

He lectured on dispute resolution at Villanova University School of Law and was a frequent course planner and faculty member for the American Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Institute and Practicing Law Institute. He authored many articles, papers and book chapters on alternative dispute resolution, litigation and other legal topics.

The Sir Francis Bacon Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in bringing mediation and other forms of dispute resolution to the commonwealth. 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 featured 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."

Welge was a civil trial lawyer for more than 25 years before forming Welge Dispute Solutions. He was a graduate of Ohio State University and the George Washington University Law School. He received mediation training from Pepperdine University and United States Arbitration and Mediation.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.