2008 Award

HARRISBURG (May 22, 2008) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will honor Chief Judge Donetta W. Ambrose, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, with its Special Recognition Award for her commitment to promoting the practice of alternative dispute resolution in Pennsylvania. The award will be presented during the association's annual meeting June 4 in Hershey.

"Judge Ambrose excels in the area of alternative dispute resolution and has had a significant professional impact in its use here in Pennsylvania," said Pittsburgh lawyer Mary Kate Coleman, who nominated Ambrose for the award. "She has supported the education and professional development of the local mediation community and works to advance creative and critical thinking about resolving conflicts."

In June 2006, Judge Ambrose was one of four district court judges to begin participation in a pilot alternative dispute resolution program. Ambrose wanted lawyers to have input into development of the local program, so, she held a series of meetings with local bar association members and invited experienced mediators to lead the discussions. The pilot program was a success and was expanded to the full court earlier this year.

Ambrose completed mediation training at Tulane University through a program offered by the Federal Judicial Center and has shared her knowledge during speaking events for the Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania and the Allegheny County Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.

Ambrose is active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, including service on its Executive Council, Nominations Committee, Program and Annual Conference Committee, Public Policy Subcommittee, Retreat Subcommittee and Professional Development Subcommittee.

She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American Judicature Society, National Association of Women Judges, Inns of Court, Women's Bar Association, Allegheny County Bar Association and Westmoreland County Bar Association.

Ambrose was elected to the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas in 1981 and was appointed to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in late 1993.

She earned her undergraduate degree at Duquesne University and her law degree from the Duquesne University School of Law.

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.