A 1971 graduate of Cornell University and 1978 graduate cum laude of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Joan joined the former Minneapolis firm of Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel in 1978, following a trial court clerkship. She is admitted to the Minnesota State and Federal District Court Bars.
Joan Morrow's primary areas of litigation practice and expertise have been employment law, litigation, counselling and insurance coverage issues arising from employment claims. She has been a frequent and popular lecturer over the years to lawyers, clients and industry associations on issues related to sexual harassment, including the investigation of complaints and the challenges of litigating those claims, on the handling of insurance coverage disputes, as well as on the effective use of mediation in resolving employment and other disputes.
Joan Morrow's initial act of professional peacemaking came when she was asked to chair the Minnesota State Bar Association's Task Force on Tort Reform, a committee composed of diametrically opposed plaintiffs' and defense counsel. In recognition for her successful efforts at forging consensus on difficult issues, Joan was awarded the State Bar Association's President's Award for Professional Excellence. In 1988, in connection with the liability insurance "crisis" and tort reform movement, Joan Morrow was appointed Chairman by the Minnesota Legislature of its Injury Compensation Study Commission, a group charged with reviewing significant laws impacting tort liability and damages and making recommendations regarding their amendment. Named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 1991 and now a Life Fellow, Joan also received her law school's Distinguished Alumna Award in 1993.
Based on years of observation that the litigation system not only fails to provide litigants on either side with the 'win' they seek but is a costly and inefficient method for achieving unsatisfactory results, Joan began mediating in the 1990's as a principled response to litigants' and the bar's need for mediation services and as an adjunct to her active employment law practice. In early 1994, Joan left her senior litigation partner position at the Rider, Bennett firm, where she had practiced for 16 years, to start her own firm, JOAN S. MORROW, P. A., a firm dedicated to dispute resolution. She has mediated more than 1500 employment and commercial cases, enjoying a very high resolution rate.
In 1995, Joan was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to serve on its Alternative Dispute Resolution Review Board. She is a member of the Center for Public Resources Employment Disputes Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. In 2001, Joan relocated to Virginia. In 2004, Joan became a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators; in 2005, Joan was elected a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. She has recently been re-elected as a Council Member of the Joint ADR Committee of the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar, having previously served on the Council from 2006-2013.
Joan S. Morrow, P.A. now has offices both in Williamsburg, Virginia and Richmond. She mediates cases in person in Washington, D.C., Virginia and the mid-Atlantic states. Because of a continuing demand for her services beyond this area, she has mediated over 200 cases via videoconferencing with the same high success rate achieved on other cases.