The mission of the Committee on
Arbitration and ADR is to promote the effective and fair use of arbitration and
mediation by parties and their counsel seeking alternative processes for resolving
The Committee engages in this mission
through such activities as the follows:
identifying Best Practices, from the perspectives of litigators and
arbitrators, for the conducting of expeditious, economical and fair
arbitrations; focusing on Best Practices, from the perspectives of counsel and mediators,
for the conducting of effective mediations; keeping abreast of case law and
practice developments in these areas; writing reports on emerging law and
practice as to arbitration and mediation; liaison with other committees of
ComFed and of the NYSBA interested in arbitration and mediation; supporting federal
and state court-administered ADR programs in New York through communications
with them as to their needs, along with communications with our membership and
that of ComFed generally as to ways we can help fulfill the needs of such court
programs; working with state and federal legislatures and courts, as well as
with other bar association committees and professional entities, on matters
having to do with arbitration and mediation; continued support of the Revised
Uniform Arbitration Act and the Uniform Mediation Act in the New York State
legislature; conducting CLE programs on arbitration and mediation; and engaging
in such activities in connection with other forms of ADR, such as collaborative
The Committee has meetings
approximately every two months, which are conducted essentially as
follows: First, a speaker of prominence
in arbitration or mediation is generally invited to speak on a topic of
interest to the Committee, following which there is typically a far-reaching discussion.
Second, the Committee discusses and advances
ongoing projects, such as the preparation of reports and the planning of CLE events.
Finally, we have a brainstorming
session, at which any member may raise issues with which he or she is presently
grappling in the arbitration or mediation areas for general discussion.
Recent speakers have included a
former Federal Bankruptcy Judge and a sitting Supreme Court Justice in the
Commercial Division, addressing the subject of the interplay between the courts
and arbitration and mediation, and the attitude of the courts to these
processes. Our most recent program
included the administrator of the mediation programs in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, who briefed us on those
programs, including their needs and the opportunities they present mediators
for experience and professional development.
An upcoming meeting will be addressed
by a Vice President of the American Arbitration Association, discussing the
topic of current developments in arbitration, including a review of the
recently revised Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association.
As to long-term projects, the
Committee is now embarked on a study of Best Practices of litigators
representing clients in arbitration. The
focus of the study is on how arbitration differs from court-based litigation,
and what these differences suggest in terms of different practices litigators
might use in representing clients in arbitration versus in court.
We welcome the participation by our
members. You are encouraged to join our
meetings, whether in person or by phone, and to suggest, work on, and hopefully
take a leadership role in projects you think we should be undertaking. We would like to have as broad participation
as possible from lawyers across the state and are committed to ComFed’s
diversity objectives as to inclusiveness.
Join the Committee