Diane Welsh

Hon. Diane M. Welsh (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Brad McNamara
T: 215-246-9494
F: 215-246-0949
1717 Arch Street, Suite 3810, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Judge Welsh is trusted and respected by both the plaintiff and defense bar as an arbitrator and mediator of complex catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. Judge Welsh is remarkably successful at settling cases with multiple defendants and complex insurance coverage issues. As a U.S. Magistrate Judge for 12 years, she conducted hundreds of settlement conferences in virtually every area of personal injury. At JAMS, Judge Welsh has mediated cases involving quadriplegia, paraplegia, amputation of limbs, crush injuries, R.S.D., traumatic brain injuries, burns, chronic pain, blindness, loss of hearing, and drowning. Judge Welsh served on the Alternative Dispute Resolution committee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for 10 years, drafting local federal court rules for court-annexed mediation program. She is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education programs on settlement negotiation, mediation, and the ADR Act.

Representative Matters

Workplace Injuries: Mediated and arbitrated cases involving negligence; product liability claims involving constructions falls; electrical accidents, trench collapses; accidents involving industrial equipment such as cranes, fork lifts; chemical exposure, fire, and explosions; hundreds of settlements involving cross claims for indemnity and contribution between general and subcontractors and compromise of workers’ compensation and healthcare liens
  • Conducted an in-person mediation which resulted in a $12 million dollar settlement for the family of a wife and mother who was killed when a tractor-trailer driver crashed into her minivan--discovery of the truck driver’s prior driving history revealed an earlier and undisclosed suspension of driving privileges and another recent accident during his probationary period
  • Case involving worker who mixed artificial flavoring to be sold to bakeries exposed to Diacetyl causing lung disease
  • Case involving boilermakers who died as a result of nitrogen asphyxiation at a refinery during a turnaround
  • Case involving a tree trimmer electrocuted by power lines
  • Matter in which a PVC pipe connection to a sulfuric acid tank broke causing fourth degree chemical burns to two workers resulting in one death and one disfiguring injury
  • Case in which a mason installing sidewalks at a residential construction site operating a front end loader hit the collar of a propane tank causing an explosion suffering severe burns and death
  • Case involving a food production worker who lost an arm in a meat grinding machine
Medical Malpractice: Mediated and arbitrated negligence claims against hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, surgeons, anesthetists, neurologists, orthopedists, radiologists, internists, dentists, ophthalmologists, obstetricians, pediatricians, gynecologists, including claims for failure to diagnose cancer in a timely manner

Nursing Home Negligence: Mediated cases involving death and personal injury from falls, pressure ulcers, infections, malnutrition, allegations of abuse and neglect

Product Liability: Mediated hundreds of cases involving defective products including industrial and commercial equipment, consumer products, tires, air bags, seat belts, roll-overs, and automobiles
  • Suit against a national window manufacturer involving three-year-old who pushed on screen and fell three stories to his death
  • Case involving negligence claims against church youth groups and chaperones when an inexperienced 12-year-old was permitted to operate a powerful snow mobile without a helmet hitting a tree suffering brain damage and spinal cord injury
  • Mediated and arbitrated hundreds of motor vehicle collision cases including accidents with tractor trailers, trucks, police cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians
  • Case in which a paraplegic being transported by Para transit vehicle did not have his wheelchair secured; wheelchair fell over causing facial and head injuries
  • Negligence claims against apartment complex owners, manager, and contract lifeguard agency for child who drowned in swimming pool
  • Negligence claims against owner of apartment building and property manager where doors were barricaded preventing mother and children tenants from escaping fire
  • Negligence claims against property owner and managers for air conditioner in vacant apartment causing water leak to the apartment below; blind tenant slipped on water suffering permanent disabling orthopedic injuries
Toxic Torts: Cases involving exposure to numerous hazardous substances including asbestos, chemicals, lead paint, mold; environmental class actions

Municipal & Governmental Tort Liability: Cases involving excessive force by police, police motor vehicle accidents, injuries and death, suicide while in police custody, negligence for failing to respond to emergency call for ambulance or 911 calls
  • Case against school district for injuries to students including rape and assault by fellow students
  • Civil rights cases against prison for assaults by guards; failure to provide medical care
Aviation: Mediated claims by passengers of the Swissair flight 111 and several accidents involving private planes, one which crashed into a house injuring the resident

Dram Shop/Liquor Liability:
  • Claim by young female on business trip taken to four bars by her male supervisor where she became intoxicated and was sexually assaulted by supervisor
  • Several cases involving intoxicated patrons who operated motor vehicles causing injury or death to themselves or others
Premises Liability: Mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases involving accidents on sidewalks, restaurants, hotels, swimming pools, retail stores, and apartment complexes
  • Included on "National Mediators" list, Chambers USA America's Leader Lawyers for Business, 2022
  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • Listed as a "Recognized Practitioner," Chambers USA, 2019
  • Recognized as an “ADR Champion”, National Law Journal, 2016-2018
  • Voted “BEST ADR INDIVIDUAL” by the readers of ALM’s Legal Intelligencer, Best of 2007-2016
  • Recognized as Mediation "Lawyer of the Year", Philadelphia, Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2022
  • Recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Law & Politics Magazine, 2008-2009
  • Voted "Best Individual Mediator", National Law Journal, "Best Of" Survey, 2012
  • Member, Federal Magistrate Judges Association; Third Circuit Director, 1999-2004
  • Member, The Forum of Executive Women
  • Member, American Inns of Court; President, Temple American Inn of Court, 2002-2003
  • Member, National Association of Woman Judges, Federal Bar Association, Montgomery Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association,
  • Bucks County Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, and other professional organizations
  • Member of Third Circuit and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania court committees, including Federal-State
  • Judicial Council, Committee on Bankruptcy and Magistrate Judges, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Court Interpreters
  • Committee, Bench Bar Public Relations and Educational Programs Committee, and Congressional Delegation Committee
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA, 1994-2005
  • Private Law Practice, 1984-1994
  • Deputy District Attorney, Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, 1981-1984
  • Legal Counsel, Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee, 1980-1981
  • J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 1979
  • B.A., Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, La Salle University, 1976

Counsel Comments

    • “Judge Welsh was excellent in her command of the issues and her willingness to lead the parties. She was efficient in methods of sharing proposals to resolution. She was a great and skilled neutral.”
    • “We were extremely impressed by Judge Welsh's command of Zoom and the initiative she took in getting the parties to communicate one-on-one more often during the mediation. We always appreciate the Judge's commitment to reaching a resolution day-of and her focus on the practical outcomes that could be reached.”
    • “Judge Welsh was excellent. She clearly did her homework and read all the materials provided to her in advance and was very knowledgeable about the issues. I cannot imagine any other mediator getting the result we did in that short of time. A very successful day.”
    • “Mediator Diane Welsh was extremely well prepared, effective and brokered a very fair result for both sides.”
    • “She is a superb settler of cases. She is tenacious, persistent and imaginative.” 

      - Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “In complicated civil cases, she is very impressive.” 

      - Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “Very few judges could settle the cases she can settle because they don’t take the time to understand them.” 

      - Almanac of the Federal Judiciary
    • “She is balanced. She goes out of her way to demonstrate to each party that she is not biased toward either party.” 

      - Almanac of the Federal Judiciary



Practice Areas

  • Antitrust
  • Arbitration
  • Aviation
  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
  • Construction Defect
  • Education/Schools
  • Employment
  • Entertainment and Sports
  • Environmental
  • Federal Judge
  • Financial Markets
  • Governmental/Public Agency
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Life Sciences
  • Maritime/Admiralty
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
  • Securities
  • Surety
Available nationwide


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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