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  • Thursday, September 05, 2019
  • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • John Jay College: 899 Tenth Avenue, Room L61, Manhattan


  • The event is free and open to anyone interested in the topic. Please register in order to attend.

Registration is closed


ACR-GNY CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College present:



Should You Choose the Process Expert or the Subject Matter Specialist?

Where and How Does It Matter?    




Whether the ADR practitioner, particularly a mediator, must be a subject matter expert continues to be the subject of ongoing debate among neutrals and the users of ADR services.  In many contexts, the answer may well be “Yes”.


For example, providing healthcare is a complex process in a highly regulated industry, in which large and even small mistakes can have life-changing and even life-ending impacts.  Because of the complexity and the gravity associated with its mission and goals, healthcare is fraught with disputes, the resolution of which can have life-or-death consequences.  In this environment, it is generally accepted that ADR, with its efficiency, cost effectiveness and underlying opportunity for non-judicial, party-centric and creative resolutions, is the better path for resolving healthcare disputes. The question is often whether the mediator needs medical or health system expertise to navigate the underlying issues and the particular dispute in order to assist the parties in resolving their differences.


In another context, labor/management relationships are personal and commercial, often highly regulated by many levels of government, and “governed” by corporate policy, culture and personalities.  How important is knowledge of labor and employment law and experience with industry practices, in order for a mediator or other conflict professional to help resolve these disputes?


In this presentation, Joan Hogarth, Susan Salazar, Heidi Ali and Breakfast attendees will examine the broader question: Is subject matter expertise more or less important than ADR process skills when resolving disputes?  The speakers will provide point-counterpoint, while maintaining the high road of neutrality.  To make their respective cases, they will be relying on examples in healthcare and the labor and employment environments.  The discussion will be open to the attendees for their points and counterpoints.


Join us in sharing your ADR experiences and perspectives on process skills vs. subject matter expertise.

JOAN HOGARTH, Esq. is an independent mediator, arbitrator and attorney whose practice focuses on healthcare and healthcare-related issues.  She regularly serves as guardian ad litem in Surrogate’s Courts and in guardianship cases related to elderly, mentally challenged or disabled persons where her mediation skills have served her well.  She has been a neutral in over 400 disputes related to healthcare (contracts, claims), sexual harassment, employment discrimination of various types, securities, insurance claims, and consumer disputes. Joan is the current co-chair of the Healthcare Committee of New York State Bar's Dispute Resolution Section and has had many leadership positions on other Bar Associations. She serves on a number of ADR panels including that of the American Health Lawyers (AHLA).

She is the author of articles covering healthcare, arbitration and mediation for such publications as the Federal Bar, American Bar Association, and New York State Bar’s Health Law Section; and has presented on healthcare subject matter and the use of ADR in healthcare.  Joan is a graduate of Long Island University – Brooklyn Campus and the George Washington University Law School.


SUSAN SALAZAR  is a partner of Raff & Becker, LLP.  She has practiced in the field of labor and employment law representing employers and employees since 1999.  Ms. Salazar is an active member of the New York mediation community mediating wage and hour, employment discrimination, breach of contract and other cases for the federal court in the Southern District of New York. She has also served as a mediator for the New York Peace Institute in New York City Civil Court. 

Susan was formerly an adjunct professor at CUNY Law School, and coached students in both Brooklyn Law School's and CUNY Law School's mediation clinics.  From 2015 to 2018, she served on the United States District Court Southern District of New York Mediator Advisory Committee. 

HIJIRA “Heidi” ALI, MLER, is known for her collaborative skills and proven abilities in problem solving as an Employee/Labor Relations Manager at NYU Langone Health.  Her prior experience also includes her role teaching future leaders as an Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, teaching Human Resource Management, lecturing at Rutgers University teaching Labor and Employment Relations and mediating pro bono at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), mediating a variety of employment discrimination disputes.























Association for Conflict Resolution - Greater New York Chapter


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