HARRISBURG (April 20, 2022) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will present its Sir Francis Bacon Alternative Dispute Resolution Award to Mary Kate Coleman, a lawyer at Riley, Hewitt, Witte and Romano PC in Pittsburgh, at an awards ceremony during the PBA Annual Meeting. May 11-13 in Hershey.
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.”
At her firm, Coleman focuses on civil litigation with an emphasis on asbestos and toxic tort cases. Throughout her career, Coleman has tried cases in state and federal courts, and has practiced civil rights, employment discrimination, medical malpractice, personal injury and product liability law. She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
In addition to her work as a civil litigator, Coleman serves as a mediator and arbitrator for several organizations and panels. She frequently lectures and authors articles about alternative dispute resolution (ADR) case law.
Active in the PBA, Coleman currently serves as chair of the PBA ADR Committee. She is also a member of the House of Delegates, serving as Zone 12 delegate; past co-chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession Committee; member of the Civil Rights Committee; and member of the Civil Litigation and Solo and Small Firm sections.
Coleman is a former member of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution that recommended Pennsylvania create a statewide office of dispute resolution. She is also a past board member of the Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania.
A past chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Colemen is a regular contributor to ACBA’s Lawyers Journal. She is also a Fellow with the Allegheny Bar Foundation.
Recognized for her work, Coleman’s accolades include receiving the Allegheny County Bar Association Women in the Law Division’s Carol Los Mansmann Helping Hand Award and The W. Edward Sell American Inn of Court’s Eric W. Springer Professionalism Award. Coleman is a Master of the Bench and past president of the Inn. Additionally, she was appointed chair of the Merit Selection Panels to consider reappointment of two U.S. magistrate judges in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Coleman received a B.A. from Vanderbilt University; an MBA from University of Pittsburgh, The Graduate School of Business; and a J.D. from the St. Louis University School of Law.
For more information on the PBA Annual Meeting, visit https://www.pabar.org/pdf/2022/AnnualMeeting2022.pdf.
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 of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.