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October 21, 2010 

STATE BAR ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES 'MEDIATION SETTLEMENT DAY'

Seeking to raise awareness about the many benefits of mediation as a forum for resolving disputes, members of the New York State Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Section and its Committee on Mediation is commemorating 'Mediation Settlement Day' in New York. 'Mediation Settlement Day' is an annual event held on October 21st in New York designed to promote the use of mediation and to educate potential parties and attorneys about the mediation process.

Mediation is an increasingly popular and highly-effective tool being used in dispute resolution. It is a cost-saving, efficient approach in which a trained, impartial mediator helps parties negotiate and reach a settlement. The process is unique because rather than having one side "win" and another side "lose," the mediator assists the parties with reaching a resolution that is acceptable to all. Once an agreement is reached, the parties usually conclude the mediation process by voluntarily signing a binding settlement agreement.

"The use of mediation as an alternative method to resolve disputes is an important resource that can benefit both attorneys and the public," said State Bar Association President Stephen P. Younger of New York (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). "Mediation Settlement Day is a great opportunity to highlight these benefits, which include reducing the costs of disputes for individuals and businesses and lessening the case burden already placed on New York's courts. I commend State Bar members for their efforts to educate citizens and to promote the future use of mediation to settle disputes."

Younger also congratulated State Bar Dispute Resolution Section member Margaret L. Shaw, Esq. (JAMS Arbitration) recipient of the 2010 Frontline Champion Award honoring her leadership and expertise in the field of mediation. 
  
In recognition of 'Mediation Settlement Day,' the State Bar's Dispute Resolution Section also will be presenting an upcoming joint CLE program with the State Bar's Elder Law Section at its fall meeting, scheduled for October 28 at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in White Plains. Panel sessions at the joint CLE program include: mediation of estate issues, the development of the use of mediation in Surrogate's Court, and tips for building a successful mediation practice. For more information and to view the joint CLE program brochure, please visit www.nysba.org/October28MediationProgram.

The State Bar Association and its Dispute Resolution Section also have been strong supporters of a proposed state-level Uniform Mediation Act that would standardize the mediation process and protect the confidentiality of the parties involved. Supporters of the Uniform Mediation Act argue that its adoption would greatly increase the use of mediation to resolve disagreements between parties.

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The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years. For more information, please visit www.nysba.org.