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<xTITLE>The Bet Din: Religious Dispute Resolution</xTITLE>

The Bet Din: Religious Dispute Resolution

by Victoria Pynchon
June 2010

From Settle It Now Negotiation Blog

Victoria Pynchon

Los Angeles has large orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jewish communities.   I have, on more than one occasion, been introduced by mediation clients to the Jewish justice system - the Bet Din.  I have mediated business disputes that have already been to the Bet Din and those that were destined to go there.

It is not my intention here to describe the Jewish laws requiring (or suggesting) resolution before a Bet Din, only to attach some resources here and link to others.

A "layman's guide" to Jewish Law (.pdf) (recommends mediation as one way of resolving a disputes)

The story of the stolen Torahs and the Bet Din's purported practice of "splitting the baby" below, including a blog post indicating that a Los Angeles Superior Court had been asked to confirm a Bet Din decision as an enforceable judgment.

California Civil Court Asked to Confirm Bet Din's Ruling on Torah Scrolls

Judge Rules against Rabbi's Widow in Torah Case reporting that the Los Angeles Superior Court has thrown out a religious court's decision to award four disputed Torahs to an Orthodox rabbi's widow who claimed that the scrolls had been stolen by her late husband's assistant.

Rabbi's Widow, LA Shul Fight Over Torah Scrolls (containing the reference to "splitting the baby")

Additional Resources

Website for a Los Angeles Din Torah Counselor.

Traditional Jewish Arbitration Panels Find New Converts

For all those past and present Honors Moot Court Board Members out there, an article on the North American High School Moot Beit Din

The London Beth Din for my British readers.

Please feel free to add to these resources.


Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all types of business torts and contract disputes.  During her two years of full-time neutral practice, she has co-mediated both mandatory and voluntary settlement conferences with Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Alexander Williams, III and Victoria Chaney.  As a result of her work with Judge Chaney in the Complex Court at Central Civil West, Ms. Pynchon has gained significant experience mediating construction defect litigation.  Ms. Pynchon received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the U.C. Davis School of Law. 

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