HARRISBURG (March 17, 2017) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will present its Sir Francis Bacon Alternative Dispute Resolution Award to Bennett G. Picker of Philadelphia-based Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP on March 23 at the Committee Section Day luncheon at The Red Lion Hotel, Harrisburg.
The Sir Francis Bacon Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in bringing mediation and other forms of dispute resolution to Pennsylvania. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was a Renaissance writer who 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.”
Picker has successfully resolved several hundred domestic and international disputes with a cumulative value of several billion dollars. A fulltime mediator and arbitrator, his experience involves complex business disputes in corporate and commercial transactions, asset/stock purchase agreements, securities, employment, environmental, ERISA, intellectual property, health care, real estate, products liability, bankruptcy, construction, class actions, professional liability, and shareholder and partnership disputes.
An advocate for ADR practices, Picker has worked throughout his career to encourage companies throughout Pennsylvania and beyond to embrace an ADR/problem-solving culture to resolve disputes, as well as to adopt formal ADR policies. A frequent trainer and lecturer, Picker has presented at programs sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA), the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) and the Philadelphia Bar Association, as well as at Temple and Villanova law schools. He authored one of the first books on mediation published by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution: Mediation Practice Guide—A Handbook for Resolving Disputes (first and second editions), as well as many chapters and articles on mediation and ADR generally.
Picker has also been at the forefront of promoting diversity in ADR. Through leadership positions at the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) Diversity in ADR Taskforce, he was instrumental in several diversity initiatives and designed an audit program for corporate counsel to promote the selection of diverse neutrals.
For his demonstrated leadership in the field, Picker received The Legal Intelligencer 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for pioneering mediation and leading diversity and pro bono activities, the Lawyer as a Problem Solver Award from the ABA in 2010 and the Outstanding Director Award from the AAA in 2005. Picker is a distinguished fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators.
Picker serves on the Executive Advisory Committee of CPR and is a co-founder of its Diversity in ADR Taskforce, the Advisory Counsel of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University School of Law, the Editorial Board of the Dispute Resolution Magazine published by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and the International Mediation Institute to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He is a former member of the AAA Board of Directors and Executive Committee, as well as a former co-chair of its National Mediation Committee.
Picker is currently a member of or is certified by the following organizations, panels and courts: National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; CPR National Employment Panel; the commercial mediation, arbitration, international and national class action panels of the AAA; International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) mediation panel of the AAA; mediation panel of Court of Arbitration for Sport; mediation panel of Singapore International Mediation Centre; mediation panel of Florence International Mediation Centre; International Mediation Institute and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Picker is a former chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and past chairman of the association’s Board of Governors. He is a founder and Advisory Board member of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a nonprofit dedicated to monitoring courts in the state.
Picker graduated, magna cum laude, from Temple University and the Columbia University School of Law. He also studied at The Hague Academy of International Law.