January 12, 2007
Farewell to a pioneer – Bill Clark
~ written by Jim Readey
William J. Clark succumbed to cancer on January 5, 2007 at age 73. On that day, Columbus and all of Ohio lost one of the most devoted pioneers in the mediation movement. He was also the first (as far as the author knows) mediator in private practice for commercial cases in Columbus.
Bill's journey to become a mediator was certainly an interesting one. He was a litigator primarily in construction and business cases for 21 years with the former firm of Knepper White Arter & Hadden. He realized that the litigation process was too expensive, slow, aggravating and dissatisfying even for victorious clients.
Undergoing a self-described "mid-life crisis," Bill in 1982 entered seminary and received a Masters of Divinity degree. After a short stint as an assistant minister at a downtown church, Bill still was unsatisfied. Having dabbled in "Christian conciliation" in seminary, Bill went to Harvard for a mediation workshop in 1985.
Energized for his new calling, Bill began a mediation and arbitration practice in 1986 in Columbus with U.S. Arbitration and Mediation, Inc. While mediation professionals were common in some parts of the country, such practices were almost unheard of in Ohio. Bill described his "transition from litigator to clergy to warrior to peacemaker" as the "most significant and satisfying happening in my (professional) life."
Bill (Princeton B.S. Engineering 1955; OSU J.D. 1960) leaves surviving him (from two marriages) wife Barbara, 7 children, 6 of their spouses, and 18 grandchildren.
FAREWELL TO A PIONEER.