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Colin Rule Receives D’Alemberte-Raven Award from ABA in Las Vegas!

Colin Rule, CEO of and, has been presented with the 2023 D’Alemberte/Raven Award from the American Bar Association. Colin was recognized at the May 11th Award Ceremony at the 25th annual ABA Spring Conference in Las Vegas.

This D’Alemberte Raven Award award honors Talbot D’Alemberte and Robert D. Raven, who each held the unique position of being both ABA Presidents and Chairs of either the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution or its predecessor ABA Special Committee.

Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc., and were founded in 1995 by John Helie and Jim Melamed. Jim Melamed served as CEO of for 25 years until Colin succeeded Jim as CEO in June 2020. See: “Online Dispute Resolution Pioneer Colin Rule Named CEO.”

Rule returned to where he served as the company’s first General Manager in 1999! Rule spun his first ODR company,, out of in 2000, creating one of the world’s first ODR providers. In 2003, Colin became the first director of ODR for eBay and PayPal. In 2011, Colin co-founded, where he was CEO and COO. Tyler Technologies acquired Modria in 2017, and Rule then became Tyler’s first vice president of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR).

In rejoining in 2020, Colin stated, “I am very excited to be re-joining Mediate is uniquely positioned to lead the global effort to apply technology to the task of resolving disputes. I am excited to work with the established team to further evolve the practice of mediation over the next decade and to expand access to resolution around the world.”

Prior to founding Modria, Colin also served as director of ODR at eBay and PayPal. Colin led a worldwide team that resolved more than 400 million cross-border disputes over seven years. At Modria, Colin led the development of the ODR platform used by the American Arbitration Association to manage its largest caseload, eventually growing the company to resolve millions of disputes in government, insurance, eCommerce, and the courts. At Tyler Technologies, Rule helped to launch court ODR systems across the United States, including counties in Georgia, Texas, California, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, and Nevada.

In taking the helm at, Jim Melamed commented, “Colin is the right leader for In fact, there is only one person on this planet that I wanted to take over the leadership of, and that is Colin Rule. In addition to his having become the world’s leading expert and voice for ODR, Colin is, quite simply, a prince of a person. Colin’s intelligence, passion, integrity and generosity make him the perfect choice to lead and going forward. While Covid-19 has driven nearly all dispute resolution online seemingly overnight, Colin and have been preparing for this time for over 25 years. For to have Colin Rule now leading our way is a blessing for our company and for the world.”

In notifying Colin of his prestigious award, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Chair Brian Pappas stated the following: “As you may know, the D’Alemberte Raven Award recognizes the development of new and innovative work in the dispute resolution field. Your professional career has exemplified the mission of the Award by exhibiting excellence in innovation; particularly in the area of technology and online dispute resolution.”

More About Colin Rule

Colin Rule is CEO of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. (“RIS“), the corporate home of,,,, and

Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017.

Colin received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) in 2013.

Colin holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, and a B.A. from Haverford College. Colin also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.

You can read many of Colin’s articles at Colin’s Author Page.

Colin’s Comments Upon Receiving the ABA Award:

Wow, wow! Well, I am truly honored by this award. I’m just filled with gratitude and humility to be standing up here. When my sister from another mother, Amy Schmitz, told me she was nominating me, I was like “yeah Schmitzy, right, not a chance, but knock yourself out.” But here we are, and while I can easily come up with a couple dozen people I think are more deserving.

So, from the first section meeting I attended, I just wanted to be a dispute resolver. I remember seeing the presenters at that meeting.  Some of you may know this, but my younger son’s name is Alexander David Rule (ADR).  He’s 22 now, so you know I’ve been a wannabe for a long time.

You know I love working with leading mediators. I love hanging out with mediators, being inspired by mediators. I like the qualities that draw people into mediation.

In this community, I have friends who said to me, “don’t you want to do something else.” The answer is “no.” This is all I want to do until I can’t do anything else. I’ve been lucky to be in the ADR field long enough to have many of my heroes become friends, and you know they say don’t meet your heroes, but I have yet to be disappointed by many of my heroes.

I’ve also been part of many great organizations I mean some of you may know this is CBR to CPI to ACR to ICODR and it’s been a privilege to contribute to the growth and development of our field. It’s hard to name everybody I feel indebted to on this journey. I do stand on the shoulders of many, but a couple people do stand out to me. One is Janet Rifkin who originally inspired me to be a mediator. She wrote the book “Peaceful Persuasion.” Another is Tom Fee, my buddy at NIDR. Tom told me you don’t have to be a lawyer to be a mediator. Thank you Tom!

And I want to also acknowledge John Helie in particular. I wear this button here for ConflictNet “Ask me about ConflictNet.” John gave people this button 30 years ago when I was in a section conference showing off email to mediators saying “you might want this.” I’m not so sure, but John offered me a vision for how tech and resolution could come together.

It was John and Jim Melamed, the visionaries who created and grew it into the biggest dispute resolution site in the world, that I think most. Jim and John eventually hired me as the first employee which opened this whole course toward online dispute resolution.

Jim asked me to come back to as CEO (now 3 ½ years ago), so the circle was completed.  John and Jim helped me out when I had nothing to offer in return and they showed me how to get started. They showed me what it meant to be a mediator, a mentor and a friend. You know, they say “Don’t do work to impress your peers; Do work that your heroes will be proud of.” When I think of them, that’s what they feel about all this.

I also feel I’m largely up here because of the achievements of the ODR field generally.  I feel like I’m getting credit for everything that’s happened in ODR, and there’s people all around the world that have done that.  The first name that many of you know is Ethan Katsh and also my closest collaborator and partner Chittu, who founded Modria with me after having worked with me at eBay and PayPal.  As I say the password on my mobile phone is “Chittuisgreat” and it’s true. I think I trust her more than I trust myself.

Also my colleagues in the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, many of whom here like Noam and Jan and Amy, but many people aren’t here. Leah, Graham, Dan . . . whatever ODR has become, it’s the work that all of us did together.

I also want to say I’ve been lucky enough to be part of some great teams from Online Resolution to Modria which we started with Chittu, and now the team, including Carol, Byron, Jim, Clare, Josh, Angie, and Neel. Now we’re also working with the development team in Chennai. I

It’s just an honor and privilege to get to work with them all every day. I’m enormously proud of the work we’ve done so far and what we’re going to do moving forward. I just want to say technology is here to stay it’s going to continue to change the world. When I think back to 2000, you know what’s happened, it’s just incredible, and I think the next 20 years are going to be even crazier with Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence, and we all need to embrace these technologies to help deliver value to our parties, and live up to the goals that we have in the field. I’m looking forward to working with all of you to make this happen. Tthank you again for this incredible honor!


James Melamed, J.D.

Jim Melamed co-founded in 1996 along with John Helie and served as CEO of through June 2020 (25 years).  Jim is currently Board Chair and General Counsel for Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. (RIS), home to,, and other leading dispute resolution sites. During Jim's 25-year tenure,… MORE >

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