Resolving Complex Environmental Disputes

Lester Levy, JAMS mediator and arbitrator

Lester Levy, JAMS mediator and arbitrator

This article discusses early cooperation between parties and insurers in resolving complex environmental disputes. It summarizes strategies that recently succeeded in a six-way dispute over the costs of investigating and remediating an extended plume of PCP groundwater contamination. It moved rapidly from a traditional lawsuit to a voluntary mediation process aimed at identifying the most economical and reliable remedial approach to cleaning up the contamination, and allocating the costs of doing so among all parties. Although the parties agreed to refrain from traditional court-mandated procedures, they retained the right to try the case if the cooperative process was unsuccessful in resolving all disputed issues. Ultimately the process was successful and the need for trial was eliminated. Continue reading

My Class Action Checklist

Hon. Morton Denlow (Ret.)

Hon. Morton Denlow (Ret.)

For a number of years now, I have enjoyed successfully resolving complex class action matters. The cases are challenging, the counsel astute and the results rewarding.

I developed a class action checklist designed to assist my clients in thinking through the issues necessary to settle their class action case. The use of this checklist and the process it requests of counsel has allowed me to expedite the settlement of class action matters. Continue reading

Artists, Entertainers and Mediation: Where the paths meet

Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS Mediation, Arbitration & ADR Services

Peter H. Woodin, Esq.

I’m a lawyer and have been a full-time mediator for more than 20 years. Before I went to law school, I spent 10 years working as a professional dancer, seven as a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  I didn’t study dance until college, and was very surprised when Mr. Ailey took me into his company just a few years later. Ailey was a mostly black company and I had never studied jazz or other movement styles that were the basis of the Ailey repertory.  Over my years with Ailey, I danced on stages all over the world.  It was a thrilling life, interpreting the roles I was given – including a solo which Mr. Ailey choreographed for me during my last year with the company – and creating that magical connection with the audience night after night.  It was also a hard life, physically and mentally demanding, always having to be “on” as a performer, and for months on end, every few days traveling onward to the next city, the next venue, the next time zone.

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Mediation is About Cutting a Business Deal

Zela "Zee" G. Claiborne, Esq.

Zela “Zee” G. Claiborne, Esq.

Mediation is popular with business people and their counsel because it is a low risk process with a remarkably high success rate. It is far less expensive than trial since it usually takes only a day or two and avoids costly discovery and employee downtime. Even more importantly, mediation allows participants to avoid the risk of going to trial and sometimes offers a chance to preserve business relationships.  Participants appreciate the fact that the process is confidential so that their business problems and intellectual property are shielded and that parties maintain some control of the outcome rather than perhaps live with an adverse judgment.

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