National Arbitration Forum
National Arbitration Forum

Judge Mary Pawlenty Named General Counsel of the National Arbitration Forum

Minnesota’s First Lady will begin new position in February

Minneapolis, MN, January 05, 2007 --( The National Arbitration Forum (FORUM) is pleased to announce that Judge Mary Pawlenty will join the FORUM as its new General Counsel. Pawlenty, wife of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, will begin officially in February, after her resignation as a judge for the First Judicial Court in Minnesota.

As General Counsel, Pawlenty will manage the National Arbitration Forum's legal affairs. She will succeed, and report to, Michael Kelly, who remains as the National Arbitration Forum’s chief operating officer. Kelly said, “Our business has grown dramatically over the past few years. It was clear to me that I needed to focus exclusively on business goals and find someone to oversee the company’s legal matters. We were looking for someone with a strong set of legal skills and judicial experience to manage our extensive network of neutrals."

"Judge Pawlenty is a great addition to the FORUM’s leadership, due to her knowledge, experience, skills and abiding commitment to providing access to justice to all Americans,” explained Edward Anderson, the National Arbitration Forum’s managing director.

Judge Pawlenty was appointed to the bench as a district court judge in the First Judicial District based in Dakota County in 1994. Her work there included all levels of criminal, civil, family and juvenile cases. Prior to her judgeship, she was practicing as a partner and civil litigator in Minnesota and for one year practiced law in Houston, Texas. Pawlenty earned her legal education, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1986 and her bachelor’s degree in political science, summa cum laude, from Bethel College in1983.

“After 12 years as a judge, I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter in my career, which will continue to focus on dispute resolution,” said Judge Pawlenty.

As first lady, Mary Pawlenty is active in several initiatives including Military Family Care, Heart Health and Judicial Outreach. The first lady and Governor are the proud parents of two daughters, aged 10 and 13.

About the National Arbitration Forum
The National Arbitration Forum (FORUM) is one of the world's leading providers of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services, including arbitration and mediation. Committed to the integrity of America's legal process, the National Arbitration Forum administers efficient, cost-effective dispute resolution programs and services for all parties. It maintains a distinguished panel of over 1,500 attorneys and retired judges who follow and apply the substantive law when rendering legal decisions. Mediators and arbitrators on the panel are located across the U.S. and in 35 countries around the world. Established in 1986, the National Arbitration Forum is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota with offices in New Jersey and Southern California. For more information or to sign up for the weekly ADR Law & Policy Update newsletter, visit the National Arbitration Forum's website at

National Arbitration Forum
Christina Doucet