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Description of Practice
Business-to-business Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Mediator, Arbitrator (and Trainer, Consultant, Author, Speaker). Previously a commercial litigator; gradually morphed practice over to exclusively Commercial ADR; represents parties in commercial arbitration and mediation; neutral Mediator and Arbitrator; has not been to court in over 7 years. Clients and parties typically are entrepreneurs, professionals, and small-to-medium sized businesses; domestic and international scope.
Commercial litigator for many years with 3 law firms (on L.I. and in NYC) before starting my own firm in 2000. Involved in ADR (arbitration and mediation) for 25 years as lawyer representing parties in ADR matters; more than 15 years of service as neutral Arbitrator and Mediator. Currently 100% ADR (law practice + neutral work).
I have mediated many (over 100) 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 trained mediators; have represented clients in varied business mediations over the past 25+ years; and have served as neutral Mediator in diverse business mediations during the past decade and a half -- 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.
Extensive Mediation Training (more than 250 hours) over many years.
Mediation Approach & Philosophy
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; 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 15+ years, including coursework in facilitative, evaluative, and transformative mediation techniques; representative recent coursework (over 350 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).
Representative Cases Handled as a Mediator
Experience includes cases involving various allegations of breach of contract, partnership/shareholder disputes, business dissolution (corporate, partnership, and LLC), commissions, leasing, unfair competition, restrictive covenants, music royalties, brokerage, post-marital property ownership, credit, business torts, and other areas. Industries include real estate, distributorships, franchising, education, technology, automotive, restaurants, consumer credit, family business, professional services practices, personnel placement, entertainment, vending machines, residential construction, entertainment, product development, marketing, financing, insurance, manufacturing, and international.
Complex Case Experience
25 of the above.
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.
Available upon request.
I truly enjoy mediation and arbitration, and look to serve as mediator or arbitrator in business cases whenever I can. Please contact me so we can discuss your matter. If you are counsel to parties involved in a dispute, I will serve you and your clients well, and I can help explain to the other sides why mediation or arbitration might behoove all. If you are a party without counsel, I similarly can handle your mediation or arbitration, but it may be advisable in many instances for you to seek counsel for advice and an independent review of the eventual mediation settlement agreement or documents to be submitted in arbitration.
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