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2017 Conference Agenda

(not finalized and subject to change)

Register here 

Wednesday, June 14

6:00 - 9:00 PM

Pre-Conference Kick-Off Cocktail Reception

JAMS, 620 Eighth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY

Thursday, June 15

All conference sessions to take place at

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law  

55 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

All Session Materials and Handouts Available Here

7:30 AM: Registration Opens and Breakfast is Served

8:30 AM: Opening Remarks

Session 1: 8:45 - 9:35 AM

All Session Materials and Handouts Available Here

Insights on Jumpstarting a Career as an ADR Neutral
NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.0 hours Law Practice Management

Theodore Cheng, Arbitrator and Mediator
Simone Lelchuk, Member, Weinstein Melnick Mediation Team
M. Salman Ravala, Senior Partner, Criscione Ravala LLP
Timothy Taylor, Arbitrator and Mediator
Giulio Zanolla, Principal, ZanollaMediation; Counsel, Thompson Bukher LLP

How do you get started in a career as an ADR neutral on commercial or labor disputes?  What are some ways to make noticeable strides as a neutral in a field that is increasingly becoming crowded with new entrants?  Join us as this group of relatively new ADR professionals, along with young lawyers on the cusp of entering the profession, share their tips and strategies about how they became involved in the ADR field, what they did (and continue to do) to build their network and profile, develop technical competence, and otherwise enhance the professional development skills necessary to help them “jumpstart” fulfilling careers as arbitrators and mediators.

Moving from Rights to Needs: Changing How Conflict is Addressed in New York City Government 

NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.0 hours Skills

Hon. Raymond Kramer, Executive Director, Center for Creative Conflict Resolution; Director of Administrative Judicial Institute, OATH NYC
Stephen Dickerson, Adjunct Professor in Political Science/Criminal Justice at CUNY Kingsborough Community College

Kammae Owens, Assistant Commissioner and EEO Officer for the NYC Department of Correction (DOC)

Iyana Titus, Assistant Commissioner for EEO at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

Joseph Russo, Assistant Deputy Warden, Brooklyn/Richmond Court Divisions and Vice President of the Assistant Deputy Wardens/Deputy Wardens Association

Marie G. Ryan, Assistant Commissioner of the NYPD Equal Employment Opportunity Office

New York City government is comprised of over 70 agencies, each with its own mission, culture and public service tasks. The Center for Creative Conflict Resolution is a conflict resource for all of these agencies, their employees and unions, and the public they serve. Operating under the auspices of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), the Center works to create positive change in the way conflicts are managed and resolved within New York City government. The Center provides a wide range of free services such as mediation, conflict coaching, training, dispute systems design, restorative approaches and conflict management support. In this dynamic panel discussion, the Center’s Executive Director and representatives from four city agencies (New York Police Department, Department of Correction, Department of Parks and Recreation, Human Resources Administration), will share the joys and challenges of their efforts to introduce creative conflict options to their workplaces beyond the organizational “fight or flight” responses that currently exist.

The Effects of Reflective Practice on Mediation: A Case Study

Rochelle Arms, PhD Candidate, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

This workshop will present the preliminary results of a study focused on the use of reflective practice as a mechanism for improving one’s practice.  It will include observations about how practitioners interpret, uphold, adapt, or reject the lessons they receive in their basic trainings, the level of awareness with which they do so, and the role of reflective practice in supporting their ongoing learning process. Through a critical reflective practice approach inspired by action research methodology, the study tracks the evolution of mediators and facilitators as they investigate their practice over a period of six months.  Through conversations before and after their conflict resolution sessions, ongoing reflective practice group sessions, the study aims to develop and solidify reflective practice methods that support conscious learning, truthfulness to one’s espoused principles, and heightened awareness in practice. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to provide empirically grounded recommendations for training and professional development of conflict resolution practitioners, enabling them to evolve the field in more meaningful ways.

Cultural Humility and ADR
(1/2 day skills certification workshop. Registration required. Space is limited.)

Jasmin Brandow, Co-Founder, HumanKind Workshop
Rebecca Koch, Co-Founder, HumanKind Workshop

Cultural humility requires individuals to engage in self-reflection and self-critique as they interact with others. Cultural humility is a core skill and attitude for any ADR professional, regardless of practice area. Both parties and neutrals are influenced by culture in their thoughts, words, and actions. As such, culture affects not only how parties communicate with each other and with neutrals but every aspect of how neutrals engage in the session. Thus, neutrals’ attention to and development of cultural humility is fundamental to their ability to support party communication and negotiation. By committing to ongoing self-reflection and self-critique, ADR professionals are dedicating themselves to a practice that will expand their competency by improving their listening skills, heightening their mindfulness, and enhancing their ability to attend to the parties and their conversation. In this workshop, we will participate in an Identity Exercise with facilitated dialogue and debrief. 

Session 2: 9:45 - 10:35 AM

All Session Materials and Handouts Available Here

Resolving Complex Commercial Disputes Through Mediation: The Mediator's Perspective

NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.0 hours Skills

Dina Jansenson, Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS

David Leichtman, Managing Partner, Leichtman Law PLLC
Lester Levy, Neutral, JAMS

This panel addresses important techniques a mediator can use when resolving complex commercial disputes in the mediation setting.  Topics to be discussed include: the importance of the pre-mediation call; best practices when asking for mediation briefs; running an effective joint session; the nuances of caucusing; getting beyond impasse; and, techniques for follow-up when a mediation does not settle.  This program will benefit both commercial mediators who want to hone their skills as well as attorneys interested in understanding the mediator perspective when advocating for their clients at a commercial mediation.

The Role of the Organizational Ombudsman in ADR Processes

NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.0 hours Skills

Karen Campbell,
Corporate Ombudsperson, American Express
Melinda Miner, Senior Manager and Program Administrator, Halliburton Dispute Resolution Program
Tim Shore, Vice President and Chief Ombudsman, Pfizer
Joan Waters,
Ombuds Officer, Columbia University

A panel of experienced organizational ombudsmen will speak about practicing in their respective industries and answer questions from the audience.  The goal of this session is to have an open and frank discussion about the advantages and challenges ombuds offices wade through as part of an organization’s conflict resolution system. The ombuds will answer questions ranging from standards of practice to how their respective programs have impacted the work environment and bottom line of the organizations they represent. If you’ve had questions about the pros and cons of the Organizational Ombudsman profession, this is your chance to ask the ombuds!

Mediation Services and Restorative Practices in New York Public Schools: The Americorps Community Mediation School Corps Program

Jennifer Geller, Conflict Resolution Specialist, AmeriCorps
Jordyan Mueller, Statewide Program Coordinator, Community Mediation School Corps
Germaine Robinson, CMSC AmeriCorps Member, Peacemaker Program, Utica, NY
TeAna Taylor, Mediation Program Coordinator, AmeriCorps, Mont Pleasant Middle School, Schenectady, NY
Erin Thiessen, Mediation Services Coordinator, Oneida Middle School, Schenectady, NY
Christopher Wedeman, School Mediation Officer, MS 358, and Community Mediation Services (CMS), Jamaica, NY

In September of 2016, the New York State Unified Court System launched the Community Mediation School Corps (CMSC) AmeriCorps program. CMSC recruits and places AmeriCorps service members at Community Dispute Resolution Centers to provide a variety of conflict resolution and restorative practice programs in public schools in 19 counties throughout the state. The objectives of the program are to support the social-emotional learning of students, support student engagement and connectedness to the larger school community, and ultimately reduce the need for out-of-class discipline procedures. Our goal is to foster a positive school climate by teaching students the skills needed to build healthy relationships and to peacefully resolve conflict. This session will explore some of the Community Mediation School Corps programs, strategies, data-based results, and reflections on their experiences introducing mediation services and restorative practices to New York Public Schools during the 2016-2017 school year.

Cultural Humility and ADR (continues)

Jasmin Brandow, Co-Founder, HumanKind Workshop

Rebecca Koch, Co-Founder, HumanKind Workshop

Session 3: 10:45 - 12:00 PM

All Session Materials and Handouts Available Here

Lessons Learned from Mediating Disaster

NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.0 hours Skills

Kenneth Feinberg, Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator and Expert

Tracey Frisch, Senior Counsel, American Arbitration Association, Inc.

Vikram Kapoor, Ombuds for Full-time Employees, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Hon. Robert M. Levy, U.S. Magistrate Judge and ADR Oversight Judge, Eastern District of New York

Robyn Weinstein, ADR Administrator for the US District Court, Eastern District of New York 

This workshop will outline the methodology by which public and private dispute resolution programs responded to the thousands of claims arising in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Panel members will be asked to share stories of how their respective Sandy ADR programs were conceived and designed, and will discuss program successes and challenges. For the final portion of the program, panelists will be asked to discuss ways that ADR program designers can "build a better mousetrap" and prepare highly effective systems to manage similar large-scale disasters.

In Pursuit of Harmony: An Australian Approach to Unbundling the Elements of the Collaborative Law Process to Transform Conflict

Kay Feeney, President, Queensland Collaborative Law

Jennifer Hetherington, Accredited Family Law Specialist, Mediator, and Collaborative Lawyer  

Kay Feeney and Jennifer Hetherington between them have over 50 years’ experience as family lawyers. Not content to accept "we’ve always done it that way" they have developed a novel way of working together on family law matters, drawing on their experiences working together in Collaborative Practice.  Their model aims to mitigate conflict escalation, regardless of which conflict resolution model the parties choose. Through the behaviour and style they model to parties, their unique approach mitigates conflict and creates trust in the lawyers, who are then seen by both parties as allies, not warriors. Jennifer and Kay will describe how their model operates in a way that participants can implement in their family law practice including unbundling legal services.  In particular, they will focus on the initial phases of client engagement which sets the scene for the balance of the process, having a lasting impact on the interaction between the parties and the lawyers with a sense of connecting being achieved with both lawyers by both parties. This in turn engenders trust and enables the parties to focus on the pursuit of interests,  not positions.

Mediation in Criminal Matters 

Meredith Gray, Restorative Justice Coordinator for Criminal Court Mediation, New York Peace Institute

Justin Strock, Manager of Mediation and Restorative Programs, New York Center for Interpersonal Development, Staten Island's Community Dispute Resolution Center

Drawing from their experience overseeing criminal court mediation programs for their respective Community Dispute Resolution Centers in Brooklyn and Staten Island, Presenters will give a broad overview of criminal court mediation generally, discuss the nuances of their centers' programs, and explore the opportunities and challenges for expanding their own programs, incorporating other methodologies (such as restorative circles), and achieving adoption of new programs in other localities.

Cultural Humility and ADR (continues)

Jasmin Brandow, Co-Founder, HumanKind Workshop

Rebecca Koch, Co-Founder, HumanKind Workshop

12:00 - 2:00 PM

ACR-GNY Award Luncheon

Honoring Common Justice and James H. Carter

Special Guests: Kenneth Feinberg and Brian Lehrer 

Session 4: 2:15 - 3:30 PM

All Session Materials and Handouts Available Here

How to Use Social Media to Enhance Your Personal Brand

Guy Alvarez, Founder and CEO, Good2BSocial

Conflict resolution professionals rely on traditional marketing and business development tools to meet and increase their visibility with their clients and potential clients. They write articles, attend conferences, speak on panels, sponsor events, and entertain clients individually and in groups. These methods are all important in building and maintaining a practice. Conflict resolution professionals "hope" these efforts work, but the results are not always clear and these activities take a great deal of time and real dedication to have any impact. This presentation will provide conflict resolution professionals with best practices and ideas to help build their personal brands through social media and develop a genuine thought leadership position. Some of the topics to be discussed include: the importance of content in developing a reputation as a thought leader; how conflict resolution professionals can strategically build their networks using social media; the role of social media and blogs in building a thought leadership platform; how to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time and provide value; how to use business and competitive intelligence to build trust and develop a following; and, what it means to be an authority.

Mediation & Insurance: How Mediation is used by Insurance Professionals and Counsel to Resolve Insurance-related Disputes

NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.5 hours Skills

Peter Halprin, Attorney, Anderson Kill PC

Laurie Mandell, Claims Manager, Employment Practice Liability Claims, Chubb Insurance

John McCarrick, Chair, D&O Group, White and Williams LLP

Cristina Yannucci, Partner, Lewis Brisbois LLP and Vice-chair, Legal Malpractice Defense Practice

Giulio Zanolla, Principal, ZanollaMediation; Counsel, Thompson Bukher LLP

The insurance industry plays a major role in the resolution of a vast number of civil and commercial disputes. Whether in the context of insured-insurer disputes or third-party claims, insurance companies and lawyers working with them are often involved in the resolution of disputes through mediation, and their perspectives contribute to the continuing development of the ADR field. The Panel will discuss the use of mediation in insurance-related disputes from the perspectives of insurance professionals and attorneys representing insureds and insurance companies in mediation. Each panelist will discuss specific aspects of their involvement in, and use of, the mediation process, including how, when and why they recur to mediation to resolve insurance-related disputes. The discussion will provide insights from the perspectives of a diverse panel of experienced professionals, who routinely use mediation to resolve disputes involving insurance aspects. The discussion will benefit a broad audience including ADR professionals and users of mediation services.

Using the Five Principles of the Trauma Informed Care Model to Enhance Your Mediation Practice

NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.0 hours Skills

Aimee Neri, Liaison, New York State Child Welfare Court Improvement Project, CWCIP, 8th Judicial District

Suzanna K. Shafer, Liaison to Central New York CWICP; Project Manager, New York State's Child Welfare Permanency Mediation Program within CWCIP

Sheila Sproule, Chair, Mediation Ethics Advisory Committee, New York Unified Court System's Office of ADR Programs

Daniel Weitz, Director, Division of Statewide Professional and Court Services; Statewide Coordinator of the Office of ADR, New York Unified Court System

Trauma is defined as a person’s witness to, experience of or confrontation with events that involve actual or threatened death, serious injury or threat to the physical integrity of self or others.  Since the definition of trauma is based on how the victim perceives the traumatic event and falls along a broad continuum, the likelihood of mediating with a person who has experienced or is currently experiencing trauma, in any case type, is quite high. The Trauma Informed Care (TIC) model is an application designed to enhance any service provider’s practice, since it provides an overlay of considerations for the provider to consider when assisting others. This workshop will provide an overview of how the five TIC model principles -- safety, trust, choice, empowerment and collaboration, can augment mediators’ existing practices and enhancing their toolboxes without compromising their roles. We will also bridge the principles, skills and practices behind the TIC model to the principles, skills and practices of mediators of every practice orientation and in all case types, by correlation to the five Principles of TIC Model to mediation values, practice and standards.

Conflict Coaching: How the Process and the "Poachables" Can Benefit Your Work

Tricia Jones*, Professor, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)

Due to a family emergency, Professor Tricia Jones will be unable to join us. This session has been canceled.

Conflict Coaching is the fastest growing ADR process in government, community, workplace and educational contexts. For example, several New York CDRCs are participating in a pilot project to implement conflict coaching. Conflict Coaching is an ideal skill-set for those working in Human Resources, management, or conflict management related fields (law, mediation, and counseling). This workshop discusses conflict coaching as a stand-alone process and as an element of sophisticated dispute system designs. It introduces the CCM model developed by Tricia Jones and Ross Brinkert, conflict and communication scholars with over thirty years of teaching, research and practice in conflict processes. The CCM model emphasizes the importance of a narrative understanding of conflict, the power of multiple perspectives in conflict analysis, the creativity of appreciative approaches to change, and a deep respect for helping parties develop skills to enact the conflict change they have identified as their best direction.  We also discuss how mediators and facilitators can use elements of conflict coaching conversations to enhance their pre-mediation, caucus, and leadership development conversations.

Session 5: 3:45 - 5:00 PM

All Session Materials and Handouts Available Here

Ethics and Neutrality

NY CLE Credit Pending: 1.5 hours Ethics and Professionalism

Simeon Baum, President, Resolve Mediation Services, Inc.

When we talk about neutrality, what are we talking about? A balanced distance between the parties and the neutral, a hermetic seal disallowing a mediator's personal interest, or a caution for the mediator not to express their opinion? Or is it all three? Is neutrality more about the intent of the mediator or the perception of the parties? Is it equal? Whatever your answer, we know that neutrality is a foundational concept in mediation, and there are different definitions of neutrality, which are applied in different degrees. The question of a mediator's neutrality can be triggered by myriad scenarios, each one potentially pointing to a different ethical analysis and outcome. In this session, we will see that a prerequisite to the question "What is ethical?" is the inquiry "How do we do ethics?". Participants will explore how we consider the ethical canons of mediation and, when faced with a dilemma, how we approach the question. The presenter will highlight different methods of "doing ethics" and the varied outcomes attendant to each. Participants will apply these methods of ethical examination and consider the concept of neutrality itself. 

Conflict Intervention as Crime Prevention

Justin Corbett, Chief Project Officer, Advancing Dispute Resolution 

Join us as we review the performance and potential of using conflict intervention services to prevent criminal activity. This session will provide an executive-level overview of the manner and methods of prevention relevance for various intervention techniques as viewed through the NYC experience, but broadly applicable to communities of any size. Based on an in-depth ethnographic study of NYC CDRC and restorative justice organizations, this presentation synthesizes the latest and lasting literatures from dozens of relevant fields, provides moving anecdotes of impact, and explores the potential of embedding coaching, mediation, peacemaking, and other conflict-assistive services at a scale reflective of NYC's actual need. If you are at all interested in the intersection of dispute resolution and the criminal justice system, this is a must attend session.

The Very Human Mediating Party: Mediators Self Reflect on Life and Conflict

Genesis Fisher, Attorney and Mediator at Fisher Law Practice, P. C., and The New York Peace Institute

Mark Kleiman, Executive Director, Queens Community Mediation Services

Sethu Nair, Conflict Resolution Specialist, Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, OATH NYC

Esther Salau, Peer Mediator, Curtis High School
Justo Sanchez, Director, Center Services, Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, OATH NYC

Mediators are among the few in the world who see people at their absolute worst; rage, anger, trauma-related disconnection, disappointments, sadness and more.  It is no small feat to hold neutrality, maintain a calm demeanor and resolve and comb through the various ways Mediators themselves are impacted by all that they see and experience. By speaking gathering a range of Mediators of varying age, race, gender and years of Mediation experience, this panel seeks to explore the impact of conflict on Mediators and how it has helped in their personal and professional development and transformation.

Nonverbal Social Skills Deficits: What Conflict Managers Need to Know

Tricia Jones*, Professor, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)

Due to a family emergency, Professor Tricia Jones will be unable to join us. This session has been canceled.

Mediators and coaches understand that poor communication skills create conflict, escalate conflict and can impede the success of conflict resolution processes. Every individual who chooses to participate in a mediation or a facilitation has varying capacities to communicate – both in terms of listening to and understanding the other and in terms of presenting their own point of view. One area of communication ability that is critical to conflict is nonverbal communication competence. Almost 10% of the population deals with a nonverbal social skills deficit know as “Dyssemia.” Stephen Nowicki and Marshall Duke from Emory University have written extensively on this issue and how dyssemia impacts personal and professional relationships. This session will help mediators and conflict coaches learn more about Dyssemia and how it can be addressed as a cause of conflict and a difficulty in mediation or coaching processes. This section includes hands-on tools to assess dyssemia, suggestions to help dyssemics improve their nonverbal behavior and specific suggestions about adjusting mediation process when a participant is dyssemic.


5:00 - 6:30 PM

Cocktail and Networking Reception 

Keynote speaker: Aldo Civico, Facilitator and Conflict Resolution Practitioner; Member, ACR-GNY Board

Interested in attending? Register here!

Association for Conflict Resolution - Greater New York Chapter


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