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Hon. Lawrence Kaplan

The Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania (MCWP) has been proud to share in the honor of presenting the annual Kaplan Lecture, named after our founding member, the Honorable Lawrence W. Kaplan, former Judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division. Judge Kaplan served in the Allegheny County family court from 1978 to 1998 and continued to sit as a Senior Judge for several years thereafter.  


Judge Kaplan is known for his commitment to the principle that giving the parties an opportunity to resolve their own disputes would improve the quality of dispute resolution and justice in family courts. Judge Kaplan championed the practice of mediation in Allegheny County since the early 1980s and he established the Family Mediation Council, one of the first organizations in Allegheny County dedicated to advancing the use of mediation, which ultimately became the MCWP.  In addition to his distinguished career on the bench, Judge Kaplan held leadership positions in many organizations, among them the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

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Kaplan Lectures

Starting in 2005, the Mediation Council, the Allegheny County Bar Association ADR and Collaborative Law Committees, the CVVC Dialogue and Resolution Center and the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (CLASP) joined in bringing nationally known experts to Pittsburgh, offering their insights to stimulate the growth of alternate dispute resolution in the region. Here is a list of the past presenters, with links to additional information. 


Prabha Sankaranaryan, President & CEO of Mediators Beyond Borders International and Tim Dawson, Founder & Co-Principal of the Art of Democracy


Michelle LeBaron, Director, University of British Columbia Program on Dispute Resolution

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