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Ms. Lesser has handled hundreds of challenging disputes as a mediator and arbitrator over the last 20-plus years.  She was named one of the  "Alternative Dispute Resolution Champions" in 2016 and 2017 by the National Law Journal. The Washington Legal Times named her “Best Individual Mediator” and she is consistently listed as one of Washingtonian Magazine's "Best Mediators."

Ms. Lesser serves on the Large, Complex Commercial Disputes Arbitration Panel of the American Arbitration Association, the Panel of Neutrals for the American Health Lawyers Association,  and the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals for the Commercial, Banking, Accounting and Financial Services, and Real Estate Panels of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution. She is also a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

Ms. Lesser works with Fortune 500 companies, federal and state agencies, small businesses, and individuals. Her clients face critical and complex problems, ranging from:

  • government and private contract claims

  • insurance coverage disputes

  • whistleblower claims, including False Claims Act and Sarbanes Oxley actions

  • securities cases, including FINRA proceedings and SEC enforcement actions

  • intellectual property claims, including patent, copyright and software licensing issues

  • securities and consumer class actions and shareholder suits

  • personal injury claims, including medical, legal and accounting malpractice actions

Parties look to Ms. Lesser for an efficient process to resolve their disputes without incurring the expense, frustration, and delay of traditional litigation. 



  • Chair of the Amtrak National Arbitration Panel, which hears disputes between Amtrak and the freight railroads nationwide.

  • Large Complex Case Arbitrator and Master Mediator, American Arbitration Association.

  • Panel of Distinguished Neutrals for the Commercial and Banking, Accounting and Financial Services, and Real Estate Panels of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution.

  • Member, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

  • Standing Chair, National Arbitration Panel, hearing disputes between Amtrak and freight railroads.

  • Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

  • Past chair of the Ethical Guidance Committee of the Section of Dispute Resolution of the American Bar Association.

  • Mediation trainer for the U.S. Department of Justice, the International Trademark Association, and the International Law Institute.

  • Frequent speaker on panels and to private groups.

  • Previously served as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, teaching seminars on alternative dispute resolution and negotiation.

  • Founder and Principal, PAX ADR LLC, Washington, DC 2001-present

  • Senior Counsel to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 2000-2001

    • Spearheaded major Secretarial policy initiatives, including fair housing enforcement, predatory lending, subsidized housing, historic preservation and community development.

  • Partner, Williams & Connolly, Washington, DC 1990-2000 (Associate, 1982-1990)

    • Nationwide trial and appellate practice focused on complex cases in federal and state courts. Cases handled included securities fraud class actions, corporate governance disputes, employment cases, intellectual property claims, and medical, legal and accounting malpractice claims.

    • Conducted internal investigations involving banking fraud and securities violations.

    • Executive Committee member,1996-2000;

    • Chair, Diversity Committee,1994-1996.

  • Associate, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York, NY 1981-1982




  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1981, magna cum laude  

  • M.A., Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia, 2000

  • B.A., City College of the City of New York, 1975, summa cum laude





2101 L Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20037​


Phone: (202) 775-8100
Fax: (202) 318-0203


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