Third Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Award Presented to Douglas H. Yarn

January 6, 2017                                                                                                                          

Atlanta, GA — The Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution and the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia have awarded the 2016 Chief Justice Harold G.

Clarke Award to Douglas H. Yarn, Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution in Georgia.

Shinji Morokuma, Bonnie O. Powell, Douglas Yarn, Tracy JohnsonMr. Yarn accepted the award at the 23rd Annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute and 2016 Neutrals’ Conference in Atlanta on Friday, December 9, 2016.

Mr. Yarn has immersed himself in the field of dispute resolution as an educator, trainer, mediator, and scholar since the early 1990s.  He was an early neutrals’ roster member for the American Arbitration Association in Atlanta.

As a Georgia State University College of Law professor since 1994, Mr. Yarn has taught dispute resolution to hundreds of law students.  He also served as Director of the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, a think tank comprising Georgia university faculty which promotes research and education on conflict prevention, management, and resolution.  Most recently, he led the creation of the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation at GSU Law in 2015. 

A member of the Commission on Dispute Resolution from 1996 to 2002, Mr. Yarn served as an arbitrator for the U.S. Olympic Committee Code of Conduct Arbitration from 1996 to 1999.  He was a primary drafter of the Georgia International Arbitration Code, which was enacted in 2012.

 Among his scholarly contributions to the field of dispute resolution, Yarn has written several editions of Alternative Dispute Resolution: Practice and Procedure in Georgia since 1998.  He also published a comprehensive Dictionary of Conflict Resolution in 1999.  His scholarly articles cover a broad range of conflict resolution topics, from arbitration to apology to the rules of dueling.  His latest research focuses on the biological bases of conflict and reconciliation; he plans to publish a book on the subject at University of Cambridge in early 2017.

 “Doug Yarn helped lay the foundation for the robust dispute resolution field in Georgia,” said Shinji Morokuma, immediate-past director for the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and a former student of Yarn’s. “His continuing service and scholarship have led Georgia to become a state where non-adversarial conflict resolution practices have become integral to the judiciary, education, law, and business.”

Yarn is the third winner of the Clarke Award. The inaugural Clarke Award was given in 2013 to Ansley B. Barton, Esq., mediator, mediation trainer, and founding director of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.  In 2015, the award was given to Edith B. Primm, Esq., Director of the Justice Center of Atlanta.




The Commission and the Dispute Resolution Section created the Clarke Award in 2013 to honor the memory of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke. From 1990 to 1994, when Clarke served as Chief Justice, he led the Supreme Court and the State Bar of Georgia in creating a system that helped courts manage their heavy dockets and that offered litigants productive ways to resolve their legal disputes outside of litigation. Today that system helps settle tens of thousands of court cases a year through processes like mediation, arbitration, and early neutral evaluation.