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Beason Receives Peace Award

Beason Receives Peace Award

Bob Beason, right, accepts award from Frank Laney.

By Russell Rawlings
Robert A. (Bob) Beason of Beason & Trehy Conflict Resolution in Durham is the 2020 recipient of the Dispute Resolution Section’s Peace Award. The award was presented on Thursday, March 12, at the section’s annual meeting and CLE in Pinehurst. 

Frank Laney, former section chair, presented the award. He aptly described Beason as a pioneer in the field of dispute resolution who came on board when alternatives to litigation were first being discussed in earnest by members of the North Carolina Bar Association. This led to the formation of the Dispute Resolution Committee in 1985 and the subsequent establishment of the NCBA Dispute Resolution Section in 1993.

“During that same time,” Laney said, “Bob was a member of the first Mediation Panel at the Duke Private Adjudication Center, which during the 1980s and 1990s provided arbitration and mediation services nationwide.

“And he was in the second Mediated Settlement Conference (MSC) training class in January 1992. He began training mediators from the very outset of the MSC program.”

Following the adoption of the “Rules Implementing Statewide Mediated Settlement Conferences in Superior Court Actions” in 1991, the General Assembly established the Dispute Resolution Commission (DRC). Chief Justice Burley Mitchell appointed Beason as one of two certified mediators to the founding DRC in 1995.

“While on the Commission,” Laney added, “he chaired the committee that labored for many, many months to craft the Standards of Professional Conduct for Mediators, which was adopted by the Commission and the (N.C.) Supreme Court.” 

Beason was equally grateful for receiving the award and for being in the right spot in the right time when mediation came into its own.

“To be honored by your peers and recognized in this manner is a special thing,” Beason said. “I have been a lucky man – lucky that God gave me a special talent and a useful way to help people figure out how to get out of litigation instead of fighting in court to resolve their legal problem.

“I am so glad that mediation came about in North Carolina, and that I had the opportunity to take advantage of it.”

Beason joined Rene Ellis Trehy, the former executive director of the Duke Private Adjudication Center, in the formation of Beason & Trehy Conflict Resolution in 2002. Trehy is a previous recipient of this award and a former chair of the section.

Beason is a graduate of the College of William and Mary (1970) and the University of North Carolina School of Law (1973), and has taught mediation and negation at the Duke University School of Law since 1995.

The Dispute Resolution Section Peace Award honors a person who has made a special contribution or commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including but not limited to the following:

  • Development of new or innovative programs;
  • Demonstrated improvements in service;
  • Demonstrated improvements in efficiency;
  • Research and writings in the area of dispute resolution;
  • Development of continuing education programs; and
  • Leadership with local, state and national boards and legislative bodies.

Past recipients of the Dispute Resolution Peace Award are:

  • Carmon Stuart (2002)
  • Scott Bradley (2003)
  • Frank Laney (2004)
  • Jacqueline Clare (2005)
  • J. Anderson Little (2006)
  • Ralph Walker (2007)
  • Charlotte Adams, Beth Okum and Tan Schwab (2008)
  • Chief Justice James G. Exum (2009)
  • Judge James Long (2010)
  • John Schafer (2011)
  • Judge Jim Gates (2012)
  • George Walker (2013)
  • M. Ann Anderson (2014)
  • Mark Morris (2015)
  • Leslie C. Ratliff (2016)
  • Rene Stemple Trehy (2017)
  • Barbara Ann Davis (2018)
  • LeAnn Nease Brown (2019)