About Bette Roth

Bette Roth has mediated or arbitrated well over 1,500 cases over the past 30 years, involving a wide range of commercial, securities, employment, construction, real estate, and discrimination disputes.  Ms. Roth is routinely engaged by both the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ bars, and settles more than 95% of the cases she mediates for her clients.

Ms. Roth taught the mediation course at Boston University School of Law for over a decade. 

Bette Roth has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer 2023” by Boston Magazine (chosen by peers) and “Super Lawyer” in New England and Massachusetts in the field of ADR by Boston Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine for over 10 years.

Bette Roth is the primary editor and author of the national two-volume text, The Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Guide,  a finalist for the 1994 CPR book award.  She publishes the yearly updates for this book, which is now a staple in most law libraries.     

She is internationally certified as a mediator by the International Mediation Institute (IMI) in the Hague, and identified as a “Master Mediator” panelist by the American Arbitration Association.

Ms. Roth was the co-chair of the ADR Committee of the Boston Bar Association’s Litigation and International Law Sections from 2006-2008.   

Awards, Distinctions and Publication

Awards & Distinctions 

  • “Top Lawyer 2023” list by Boston Magazine (nominated and voted by peers) 
  • New England Super Lawyer in the field of ADR by Boston Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine for 10+ years (nominated and voted by peers as top 5% of lawyers in the field) 
  • 2016, 2013:  Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts
  • Certified as an International Mediator by the International Mediation Institute (IMI) in the Hague (since 2008)
  • “Master Mediator” panelist (AAA)
  • 2001 John Dunlop Dispute Resolution Award for Innovative Systems Design from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

For a list of publications, see the “Publications and Updates” menu link on the bar above

Professional Background

  • Mediator since 1996
  • Arbitrator since 1992
  • Adjunct Professor of mediation at Boston University School of Law (2007-2020)
  • Executive Director of Middlesex Multi-Door Courthouse (2001-2008)
  • Litigator (1984-1992): Farella, Braun & Martel [San Francisco]; Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison [San Francisco]; Securities and Exchange Commission [Los Angeles]

Neutral Panel Memberships

In addition to providing services directly to parties, Bette Roth is also a member of the panels of several other private providers, including:

  • CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals
  • AAA (American Arbitration Association) mediation and arbitration commercial and employment panels, panelist “Master Mediator”
  • REBA (Boston’s Real Estate Bar Association)
  • Resolute Systems, LLC
  • MA Dept. of Labor Panelist: Fact Finder, arbitrator
  • MA Superior Court Panel: “Qualified Neutral”
  • MCAD Per diem mediator panelist (2001-2007)
  • MA Appeals Court per diem mediator panelist (2003-2006)

Substantive Areas

  • Accounting
  • Administrative (federal, state, municipal)
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business (contract and torts including taxation issues)
  • Civil rights (see discrimination)
  • Closely held corporations (freeze-out, severance, stock valuation)
  • Commercial (UCC and common law)
  • Construction (residential, commercial, and municipal)
  • Contracts (commercial, business, employment, construction, international)
  • Consumer (93A)
  • Defamation (employment, business)
  • Discrimination (age, gender, disability, racial, place of origin, religion, retaliation)
  • Education (professor, teachers, and student claims)
  • Employment (wrongful termination, independent contractor, non-compete/non-solicit, wage/hour, contract, ERISA)
  • Environmental (superfund, disposal, drainage) 
  • Estate (beneficiaries, wills, trusts)
  • Executive compensation
  • Family (property, support, CHINS, family business)
  • Franchise (virtually all industries)
  • Health care (contracts, clients, service providers, employment)
  • Housing (discrimination)
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual property
  • Joint venture
  • Land use (residential, city, adverse possession, zoning, neighbors, family, estate)
  • Leases (commercial equipment, property)
  • Licensing agreements
  • Malpractice (professional)
  • Partnership
  • Real estate (sales, commissions, contract, title claims, torts, easements)
  • Securities (customer, fraud, negligence, suitability, churning, unauthorized trading, intra-industry, multi-party, ERISA, shareholder class action)
  • Sexual harassment (individual, hostile work environment)
  • Taxation
  • Torts (business)
  • Wage/hour (individual and class actions)

Speaking engagements & ADR instruction   

  • Adjunct professor of mediation at Boston University School of Law

Speaker at CLE, Training, and Bar Association Programs   

  • “Settlement Agreements” (faculty, Civil Mediation Workshop, MCLE 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012)
  • “Negotiation for Women” (sole speaker, Questrom School of Business Women’s Summit 2016)
  • “Litigation Management: The End Game” (faculty, Association of Corporate Counsel 2014)
  • “Legal Updates: Representing Clients in Mediation” (faculty, MCLE 2013)
  • “Negotiation Techniques for Business Lawyers” (faculty, ABA 2011 Business Law Spring Meeting)
  • “Resolving Closely Held Corporation Disputes” (faculty, Mass Bar Association 2011)
  • “Negotiation Ethics (faculty, ADR & the Law, MCLE 2010)
  • “Hybrid ADR Processes” (faculty, ADR & the Law, MCLE 2009)
  • “Mediation, Arbitration, and Hybrid ADR Processes” (faculty, AAA advanced mediator training 2009)
  • “Securities Arbitration and Mediation” (faculty, Boston Bar Association, 2009)
  • “Med-Arb, Arb-med, Binding Mediation, mediator’s Proposal, and Other Hybrid Processes” (faculty, AAA Advanced Mediator Training, 2009)
  • “Choosing the Right Dispute Resolution Process and Neutral” (faculty, MCLE 2009)
  • “Resolving Neighbor Disputes” (faculty, MCLE 2009)
  • “Resolving Closely Held Corporation Disputes”, (faculty, MBA 2008)
  • “Arbitration Practice and Update 2007” (faculty chair, MCLE 2007)
  • “Arbitrator Training (8-hours, faculty co-chair, MCLE 2005)
  •  Numerous brown-bag lunch programs on mediation and arbitration as co-chair of ADR Committee (moderator, faculty 2005-2008)
  • “Mediating Employment Cases” (faculty, BBA 2004)
  • “What Every Lawyer Should Know About Arbitration” (faculty chair, MCLE 2004)
  • “Arbitration Practice and Update 2002” (faculty co-chair, MCLE 2002)

Mediation Style

       Ms. Roth starts the process for each case by preparing for the mediation.  This typically involves conferencing with counsel before the session, identifying materials to review, and reading the materials they submit. 

        Every mediation is unique.  Between the parties, the facts, the law, the personalities of counsel, and the history of their negotiation, each  mediation session involves a delicate balance of interests.  Many parties feel the need to be heard in order to put the dispute behind them.  At the same time, their only alternative to settlement is adjudication.  For these reasons, Ms. Roth combines facilitative and evaluative techniques to keep the process moving forward and the parties focused on settlement.  She brings to the table her years of experience as a litigation attorney and as an arbitrator to credibly help the parties identify their interests, consider their case strengths and weaknesses, explore various outcomes, evaluate and fashion proposals, and move toward resolution. 

       In those cases in which the mediation does not conclude during the scheduled session, Ms. Roth always follows up with counsel and/or parties, typically by telephone, until a resolution is reached.   The result is settlement in at least 95% of the cases she mediates.

ADR training received       

  • 2016: AAA continuing education training on common arbitrator missteps
  • 2016: AAA continuing education training on principled deliberations and decision making
  • 2015: AAA continuing education training on case management
  • 2008: AAA continuing education training on award writing
  • 2007: AAA continuing education training on chairing a panel
  • 2006: AAA continuing education trainings on pro se arbitration
  • 2005: AAA Arb. II training
  • 2005: Superior Court conciliation training
  • 2003: AAA  Arb. I training
  • 2001: FCMS advanced mediator training for housing disputes
  • 2000: MCLE/MCAD discrimination prevention training certification (24 hrs)
  • 1998: AG Office training in peer mediation trainer training
  • 1997:  FCMS basic mediation certification (35 hours)
  • 1995-1996:  mediator training/apprentice with Randy Wulff
  • 1991:  AAA basic arbitrator training


  • 1984: J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School (editor of The Wisconsin International Law Journal)
  • 1981: B.A., Economics, cum laude, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • 1981: “Certificat de Langue Français”, University of Paris, Sorbonne

Bar and professional memberships        

  • 2006-2008: Co-Chair, ADR Committee, Litigation and International Sections, Boston Bar Association
  • 1985: Massachusetts State Bar
  • 1984 California State Bar
  • 1984: Wisconsin State Bar
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • NEACR (New England Chapter for the Association of Conflict Resolution)

Community service      

  • Current:  volunteer, Historic Newton House Tour Committee
  • Current:  volunteer “Newton Serves”
  • Current:  Judge for Moot Court & Negotiation competitions (Boston University School of Law, Northeastern University School of Law)
  • 2005-2010 pro bono trainer for teen communication (Boston)
  • 2003-2010 pro bono trainer for student mediators (Newton)
  • 1997-2003: Member, Newton Highlands Neighborhood Area Counsel
  • 2001-2002: Co-president, Zervas Elementary School Council
  • 1999-2001: Elected member, Zervas Elementary School Council
  • 1999-2002: pro bono trainer for student mediators (FCMS)
  • 1977-2003: pro-bono mediator FCMS for neighborhood and family disputes
  • 1998: Designed and led volunteers to build a memorial playground

References from counsel or parties are available.