Barbara Ann Davis of Asheville was honored posthumously March 16 as the 2018 Dispute Resolution Section of the NC Bar Association’s Peace Award winner.
Davis’s colleague Sarah Corley accepted the award on her behalf at the section’s annual meeting and CLE in Pinehurst.
“Barbara has been a major contributor to both community and court-related mediation movements in North Carolina and to the development of collaborative law practice as well,” Corley said in a statement. “I cannot imagine a person in North Carolina more worthy of the Peace Award than Barbara Ann Davis.”
Davis died on Dec. 9, 2017, at the age of 64. She was a native of Miami and graduated from the University of Florida and the University of Florida College of Law.
After law school, Davis worked as a public defender in north Florida before moving to western North Carolina, where she worked as a legal services attorney. She eventually established the region’s first domestic violence program.
In 1984, she founded The Mediation Center, a non-profit community program and served as its executive director. Her obituary said that the center “has taught mediation skills to thousands, including police officers, teachers, young children, lawyers, juvenile offenders, college students and professors.”
She left the organization in 2000 to establish a private practice in collaborative law and mediation “helping clients to resolve disputes peaceably and legally, without going to court,” her obituary said.
The Dispute Resolution Section Peace Award is given every year to a person who has made special contributions to the field of peaceful resolution of disputes by developing programs, improving services, improving efficiency, researching and writing on the subject, developing continuing education programs and demonstrating leadership on the local, state and national boards and legislative bodies.
Section chair LeAnn Nease Brown praised Davis’ work and life.
“Barbara loved life, dance, music and helping people find solutions to problems,” Brown said. “We are gratified this year’s Peace Award pays tribute to her legacy in alternative dispute resolution in North Carolina.”