I am a business Mediator, Arbitrator, and a retired dispute resolution lawyer. My professional practice revolves around business-to-business dispute resolution from diverse perspectives. For over 35 years, I actively represented clients as their attorney-advocate in commercial litigation, arbitration, and mediation proceedings; for over 20 years, I have served regularly as neutral Arbitrator or Mediator on the commercial panels of neutrals of several national and international ADR forums, including the American Arbitration Association, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, Resolute Systems, the Nassau County Bar Association ADR Panels, and others, as well as run a private neutral arbitration and mediation practice. I am a member of several bar associations’ dispute resolution sections; a past Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Law Committee; a Charter Member of the NYAMA (NY Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, and member of its Executive Committee); a member of the NADN (National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals); a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA; and Vice-Chair of its Law Firm CLE Committee); a member of the NY State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA), and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the NY State Bar Foundation. I also have taught ADR Law as an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University School of Law.
More than twenty years of service as a neutral — Arbitrator and Mediator. Commercial litigator for over 30 years (ceased court litigation ~2010 in favor of ADR, and ceased ADR representation ~2016); more than 30 years’ experience representing clients in ADR matters, principally arbitration and mediation. During the past fifteen years, the majority of my business dispute resolution law practice has been in representing clients in ADR; since 2010, it is essentially 100%. Now my law practice consumes less than 5% of my time. Formerly a partner in a medium-sized Long Island law firm, where I practiced for fourteen years; now in solo practice, partly to avoid conflicts of interest (with my law partners’ clients), disclosure of which might preclude me from accepting appointments as neutral Arbitrator or Mediator. Charter Member of NYAMA — NY Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators (and member of its Executive Committee), and member of NADN.org — National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (there are only 56 members throughout NY State, 5 of whom are on L.I.). Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA; Vice-Chair of its Law Firm CLE Committee). Past Adjunct Professor of ADR Law at St. John’s University School of Law.
I have mediated many diverse business cases from many sources, including satisfied past clients, many business and legal colleagues, ADR forums, my published writing as well as public speaking engagements, and the internet. Sometimes parties wish to mediate before/in lieu of court litigation (or arbitration), to avoid the considerable cost, disruption, delay, risk, lack of control, and other difficulties inherent in the adversarial system. And sometimes parties seek mediation as the best way out of a difficult court situation, due to dissatisfaction with the lack of speed and results and the excruciating costs of court litigation. Mediation places more control in their own hands instead of those of a judge or jury whose mission is strikingly different from that of any party to a litigation.
I have taught CLE courses in mediation to lawyers and mediators; have represented clients in varied business mediations over the past 30+ years; and have served as neutral Mediator in diverse business mediations during the past twenty years — matters often have involved numerous closely-held and family businesses with all of the attendant issues that arise when the business owners are related or otherwise involved beyond the business or professional practice, as well as businesses and professional practices ranging from solopreneurs to substantial medium-sized businesses.
My experience as neutral Arbitrator is similarly broad and deep, in the business arena. I have served as Arbitrator in hundreds of business dispute cases, both through forums as well as privately (ad hoc).
Flexible, not doctrinaire; I attempt to rationally mold my process to the needs of the particular situation (parties, relationships, counsel, circumstances, etc.). In general, I favor use of pre-mediation teleconferences to handle logistics; pre-mediation written submissions by the parties to the mediator (either ex-parte or shared, as suits the participants); selective shuttle diplomacy (emphasis on joint general sessions, and sometimes private caucuses, as appropriate); principally facilitative approach, refraining from making evaluative input until well into the mediation (if at all, depending); and, simply put, proceeding in a manner that makes as much sense for all as possible, given the presumably mutual goal of resolution (if there are other goals, such as improving communication, etc., they similarly can help guide the process). Bottom line: Flexibility, rationality, pragmatism, particular needs, and achievement of goals remain important, so the process is malleable and customizable.
I have engaged in extensive and intensive training in mediation over the past 25+ years, including coursework in facilitative, evaluative, and transformative mediation techniques; representative recent coursework (over 300 hours) includes study of breaking impasse in mediation, mediator ethics (objective standards and subjective practices), the art and future of mediation, and a 35-hour Transformative Mediation further certification training course (Hofstra Law, 2009) as well as a 16-hour Advanced Mediation further certification training course (NYS Court system, 2011).
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA — B.A. in English (also concentrations in biopsychology, economics, chemistry, and music); Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, TN — J.D. (Juris Doctorate); Extensive Continuing Legal Education (CLE), including in ADR (arbitration and mediation) and certification in mediation. Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation and Leadership, April 2018.
Hourly rate for all time expended working on the matter, including mediation sessions, study time and other preparatory work, as well as travel time exceeding 1/2 hour each way. Up-front retainer, before work begins. Reimbursement of actual out-of-pocket expenses if incurred. Participants enter into written mediation or arbitration agreement that spells out the particulars.