Judge Rau's


In 2019, Judge Lisa Rau (ret.) founded Resonate Mediation and Arbitration where she uses her prior judicial experience to resolve cases through mediation, arbitration, and as a court-appointed special master.

After her appointment to the bench, Judge Rau was elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2011 with bipartisan support.  For more than 18 years, Judge Lisa Rau served on the highest state trial court in Philadelphia County, the Court of Common Pleas. Judge Rau was selected to serve as Team Leader, where for 5 years she managed every major civil case filed in Philadelphia County during a calendar year, over 6,000 cases initially. As Team Leader, she resolved hundreds of major civil cases, presided over all discovery matters, handled pre-trial conferences, decided motions, and assigned cases for trial to a team of judges she supervised. Judge Rau engaged in daily settlement conferences that honed her mediation skills and allowed her to develop creative techniques for resolving cases. Throughout her judicial career, she presided over hundreds of trials, mostly civil jury trials. Judge Rau gained insight into case value and trial risks from jury verdicts and settlements.

Prior to the bench, Judge Rau was a civil litigator who specialized in the litigation and trial of complex employment and class action cases in federal court.

Judge Rau's


Judge Rau received her J.D. from Stanford Law School where she was an associate editor of the Stanford Law Review.  She graduated with a BA magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with high honors in psychology from Colgate University.

Judge Rau continued her education in mediation and trial skills while serving as a judge.  Judge Rau completed a master's degree in judicial studies in 2019 from the University of Nevada’s Judicial College with her thesis focused on how Philadelphia overcame its backlog and transformed its court through intensive civil case management.  Judge Rau has taken over 300 hours in mediation training including 3 courses that qualify her to be certified as a mediator.  The National Judicial College awarded Judge Rau with a Certificate in Dispute Resolution Trial Skills and a Certificate in Judicial Development and General Jurisdiction Trial Skills.


Judge Rau is a distinguished fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and a diplomate member of the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals.  She serves on ADR Panels for the American Arbitration Association and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.

Judge Rau is also an active educator. Judge Rau served on the faculty of the National Judicial College from 2007-2019 teaching advanced evidence to judges from across the country. She regularly teaches continuing education courses for lawyers and judges. She has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, and Villanova’s law schools and is a regular guest lecturer. Judge Rau has also taught civics to high school students in Philadelphia's public schools.

Judge Rau enjoys working with people of all backgrounds having grown up as the daughter of a military pilot with regular transfers to new locations and she later served in the United States Peace Corps.  She has lived all over including in Afghanistan, Thailand, Massachusetts, California, Nebraska, New York, Washington, D.C., and for the longest period Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



Having been a private mediator and arbitrator for over 3 years, and a judge for over 18 years, Judge Rau has experience with just about every type of litigated civil case including personal injury, construction, professional medical and legal liability, defamation, products liability, insurance, aviation, civil rights, employment, commercial, dram shop, attorneys' fee disputes, motor vehicle, contract, sexual assault, fire, premises liability, asbestos & other mass torts, class actions, and appeals.

ADR Panels