This past Friday and Saturday (May 18-19,2018), the NYSBA’s Dispute Resolution Section held a training program focused on preparing advocates for representing clients in mediation and arbitration. This was the first program of its kind and was designed to be the first step in approving attending participants to represent clients through the Dispute Resolution Section’s newly-formed ADR pro bono clinic. The program was organized and co-chaired by Alexander Bachuwa (Bachuwa Law PLLC), Randall Tesser (Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP), and Ross J. Kartez (Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C.). Thank you to St. John’s University and the Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution for providing the space and co-sponsoring the event.
The program was a huge success. The event was overbooked and the organizers scrambled to find a larger room to house the audience – the enthusiastic crowd made for a fun and engaging program.
Day one was all about mediation. Randall Tesser led the mediation program that included industry leaders Simeon Baum (Resolve Mediation Services, Inc.), Lew Tesser (Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP), Prof. Elayne Greenberg (St. John’s University School of Law), and Robyn Weinstein (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York), who trained the attendees on how to effectively reach their adversaries without conceding their client’s interests. The presenters went through the full process, including voluntary vs. mandatory mediation, confidentiality, choosing a mediator, mediation philosophy, drafting a mediation statement, opening statements, communicating with the other side and the mediator, caucuses, joint sessions, reaching agreements, follow-up efforts, and much more. There were plenty of exercises that kept the attendees on their toes, and everyone seemed to learn a lot about the process while having fun too.
Day two was all about arbitration. Alex Bachuwa led the arbitration program, starting with the arbitration provision and moving all the way through post-award issues. Attendees received a comprehensive understanding of arbitration. The faculty included experienced arbitrators and advocates Alex Bachuwa, Ross J. Kartez, Charlie Moxley (MoxleyADR LLC), M. Salman Ravala (Criscione Ravala, LLP), David J. Abeshouse (Law Office of David J. Abeshouse), and Erica Garay (Garay ADR Services). The arbitration training included reviewing the arbitration clause, reviewing the provider’s rules, ascertaining arbitrability, selecting the arbitrator, preparing for the initial pre-hearing conference, streamlining discovery, preparing and submitting pre-hearing materials, presenting the case effectively, and issuing the award. The presenters made an effort to create a theme throughout the day that arbitration is a creature of contract, and that advocates must understand the flexible and streamlined nature of the process. The audience participated in various exercises that allowed them to utilize many of the tools learned throughout the day.
The program was capped off with a networking cocktail reception giving the attendees a chance to relax and reflect on their experience.
The organizers enjoyed the program and look forward to planning an encore next year.
Click here to view photos from the program.