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An increasing number of states are now using forms of mediation for purposes of processing consumer restitution requests and complaints.
• The Michigan attorney general is forming a multi-state task force of attorneys general to coordinate the mediation of consumer complaints against Allcare Dental and Dentures across the fifteen states in which the company operated before abruptly ceasing business. The mediations will not only address financial issues, but protection of and access to patient dental records. The Washington Post (January 7, 2011); Examiner.com (January 6, 2011)
• Mediation by the Missouri Department of Insurance resulted in recovery of $9.5 million for consumers who brought insurance complaints. The largest number of complaints involved health insurance, followed by auto and homeowners. The average consumer recovery in the mediations was $7,000. Worker’s Compensation.com (January 27, 2011)
• The attorney general’s office in Massachusetts helped consumers recover over $4.7 million through mediation last year. The attorney general received over 13,000 complaints in 2010 relating to consumer, health care and elderly issues. The Elder and Health Care mediation program obtained nearly $700,000 for consumers in the state. The Newburyport Current (February 14, 2011)
Keith L. Seat is a full-time mediator and arbitrator who can effectively assist parties in resolving a wide range of telecommunications, antitrust and other commercial disputes. With over twenty years of legal experience as a mediator, arbitrator, litigator, advocate before executive branch agencies, and key staffer in the legislative and judicial branches, Mr. Seat brings a wealth of experience to his work as a mediator and arbitrator to help parties reach successful resolutions of complex disputes.
Mr. Seat began his legal career in a federal clerkship with U.S. District Judge William H. Becker, and then litigated antitrust and commercial disputes for many years at a major Washington law firm, Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White, where he first worked on telecom and technology issues. In 1993, Mr. Seat was named General Counsel of the Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he served for four years, playing a significant role in the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Returning to the private sector in 1997, Mr. Seat rounded out his experience with a senior in-house counsel position at MCI, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications firms. At MCI, he gained a first-hand appreciation for the important perspective brought to issues and disputes by in-house decision-makers. Mr. Seat also deepened his knowledge of telecom issues and gained experience addressing competition-related issues in the corporate setting, as well as helping resolve disputes among large organizations.
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