Membership is by invitation only and limited to professional mediators and arbitrators who are well established as trusted neutrals among the legal community within their state of practice.
All Academy members have been found to meet stringent practice criteria and are amongst the most in-demand neutrals in their respective states, as nominated by both peers and litigation firms.
Criteria & Requirements
- Two existing Academy members are required to nominate/second a neutral for consideration. If an applicant is not known to the membership, then the appropriate State Committee may offer approval for due diligence to proceed. Please note that the Academy roster is “locked down” annually, with nominees considered at the end of each calendar year, for possible January induction.
- Only attorneys in good standing with their local State Bar associations are considered eligible. (Exceptions may be made for non-attorneys who are nonetheless in high demand among local litigators)
- Nominees should ideally be certified/registered in their state of practice, if formal ADR practice protocols applied by the local Bar or courts. (e.g.;"Circuit-Civil" certification in Florida, "Rule31 Approval" in Tennessee)
- All Members are professional neutrals, in civil/commercial mediation or arbitration practice for a minimum of 5 years, with a minimum of 30% of their professional efforts dedicated to civil/commercial ADR practice.
- All members must receive remuneration for their ADR practice at least 60 days annually.
- Members recognized as MEDIATORS must have mediated a minimum of 200 private civil disputes*, excluding pro bono and family law cases.
- Members recognized as ARBITRATORS must have arbitrated a minimum of 20 civil cases to final award. (Exceptions may be made in the case of former judges, where written decisions from the bench may be considered.)
- Nominees who are understood to meet these requirements must then submit materials for consideration, including biography/CV, and contact info for 8 local attorneys (opposing counsel for 4 cases) for whom the neutral has a) mediated civil disputes in the preceding 90 days, or, b) arbitrated civil disputes within the previous 12 months. References will then be contacted by phone and interviewed by NADN staff as to nominee's approach, effectiveness, professionalism and reputation as a neutral within his/her firm.
Since 2013, NADN also considers biennial survey data from the many hundreds of law firms affiliated with both the AAJ (Plaintiff Bar) and DRI (Defense Bar) in order to identify widely-acceptable ADR professionals for consideration in every state.
Following the above due diligence process and consultation with the relevant State Committee, the final decision to approve or decline membership to the Academy rests with our Executive Director. **
* Waivers of the mediations total benchmark may be considered by NADN and Executive Committee members in cases of exceptional experience and qualifications (e.g.; practitioners dividing their time between research and private practice, or those involved exclusively in lengthy complex cases, major Special Master assignments, etc.) Academy Members may also be recognized as serving additional states, provided counsel in those requested states can vouch for their local reputation as a neutral.
** This executive discretion applies both to the induction of nominees and, if deemed necessary, the termination of memberships.