Event Calendar

Committee Meetings Calendar

Dispute Resolution Spring 2024

Dispute Resolution Section Mission Statement

The Dispute Resolution Section recognizes the critical importance of negotiation, collaboration, mediation, neutral evaluation, arbitration and new and hybrid forms of dispute resolution in all areas of legal practice. The Section is a forum for improving these processes and the understanding of dispute resolution alternatives, for enhancing the proficiency of practitioners and neutrals and increasing the knowledge and availability of party-selected solutions.

The Section will serve this mission by:

  • Creating committees to explore and research developments in ethics, substantive law, and legislative initiatives relating to our shared interests
  • Sponsoring publication of analysis and opinion on dispute resolution processes
  • Providing continuing legal education and training to practitioners and neutrals
  • Promoting relevant legislation
  • Providing commentary on ethical issues affecting dispute resolution
  • Providing a venue for practitioners, law school faculty and students, and dispute resolution providers to network, exchange ideas, and to interact with other members of the Bar and to the public on issues relating to dispute resolution.
  • Creating an environment that encourages newer and diverse ADR practitioners and neutrals to develop their careers and to share their perspectives.


NYSBA Annual Chuck Newman Award


Contact the Dispute Resolution Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Simone Smith
[email protected]
(518) 487-5593

Please do not contact the Section liaison with a request for legal advice or an attorney referral. You can instead visit our ‘Public Resources’ or ‘Lawyer Referral Service’ page for this type of request.

Jeffrey K. Anderson, Esq.

Jeffrey K. Anderson, Esq.

I am honored and excited to be the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section. As the first “Upstate Chair,” I hope to bring a clearer voice on behalf of the folks beyond the New York metropolitan area. My background is as a four-decade personal injury litigator, and, for the past 14 years, as a mediator and arbitrator. On the academic side, I taught Alternative Dispute Resolution at Albany Law School for six years (henceforth I will call it “dispute resolution” as it should not be viewed as “alternative”).

I want to thank immediate past Chair Noah Hanft, under whose leadership the Section greatly benefitted. I am very pleased to have Jill Pilgrim as Chair Elect and thank Bill Crosby for stepping into the position of Vice Chair. Both bring a deep well of experience and creative intellect and I look forward to working with them. My thanks to Erica Levine Powers, who has taken on the demanding task as Secretary of the Section; and gratitude to Debra Reperowitz for taking on the important role as the Section “banker” –Treasurer.

Our Section could not thrive without our Liaison Simone Smith, who labors tirelessly every day to keep the wheels of this large organization turning smoothly.

Our committees are the lifeblood of the Section and I look forward to working with the Chairs on the many programs they create. Their meetings are the creative force driving important work, from enhancing diversity in dispute resolution practice, the training of mediators and arbitrators, producing continuing legal education programs for persons within and beyond the Section; as well as supporting New York’s presumptive ADR program and the mediation programs within the Federal Court system.

I would be remiss in not extending praise to the outstanding work of Laura Kaster, Edna Sussman and Sherman Kahn, who year after year publish the Section’s journal: New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, a veritable treatise of high caliber articles on timely issues and topics of interest to our membership.

My initiatives as Chair are threefold. First, I will work to bring more “upstaters” into the many committees and activities of the Section. Through meetings inviting collaboration of all members, I hope to generate ideas and programs to enhance upstate presence in our Section.

Second, I will work to further enhance diversity in every facet of our Section’s existence, building on the fine efforts of former Chair Noah Hanft. He made good on his promise to increase the presence of women and persons of color on the panels of our programs, together with Jill Pilgrim and former Chair Ross Kartez. In addition, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Mary Austin and Alfreida Kenney, made significant progress in advancing this goal, in part by their work in planning and holding the Second Annual Diversity Series Dinner held in April 2023 at Silvia’s in Harlem. The work of the Mediation Committee in mentoring, and the publicizing of diverse ADR practitioners and inclusivity programs through our journal, New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, are two more examples of the Section’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Planning is now underway for a second annual Gala to take place this Fall.

My third initiative is to formalize the Section’s relationship with as many of the state’s fifteen law schools as possible. Our law schools are the incubators of tomorrow’s dispute resolution practitioners. Dubbed the “Law School Initiative,” there are three essential goals: 1) to increase the presence of young, new dispute resolution professionals in our Section; 2) to increase the presence of diverse dispute resolution professionals; and 3) to increase our Section’s membership. I am pleased to have the support of the Continuing Legal Education Committee, through its Chairs, Professor Jacqueline Nolan-Haley, Richard Janvey, and Mansi Karol, who have graciously agreed to provide the structural “umbrella” for this project.

Finally, I will work with this committee and with Marilyn Genoa and Susan Salazar, who Chair the Membership Committee, to enhance career opportunities for individuals of any age who are interested in pursuing careers as dispute resolution practitioners.

I am honored to be the Chair for a year and privileged to be working among the talented, creative professionals who give selflessly of their time and energy to advance the mission of this fine Section. They coalesce as a formidable presence in the New York State Bar Association, shaping the path of dispute resolution of the highest caliber. I will take every opportunity to make a meaningful contribution during my tenure.

Online Community

Dispute Resolution Lawyer Vol 17 No 1

New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer

The New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer features peer-written substantive articles relating to the practice of dispute resolution on various topics including arbitration, mediation, and collaborative law. Also included are updates on case law and legislation, as well as Section activities. Edited by Edna Sussman, Esq., Laura A. Kaster, Esq. and Sherman Kahn, Esq. the New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer is published by the Dispute Resolution Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.

The New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association.

The New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer encourages article submissions on topics of interest to members of the Section. Writing an article for a NYSBA Section publication is a great way to get your name out in the legal community and advertise your knowledge. Our authors are respected state-wide for their legal expertise in such areas as arbitration, mediation, and collaborative law.

Author Guidelines

NYSBA has created comprehensive author guidelines, with information regarding our reprint policy, style guidelines, and obtaining MCLE Author Credits.

Letter to COSAC on Proposed Amendments to Rule 8.3
September 2019: This letter provides the Section’s recommendations regarding certain amendments proposed by the NYSBA Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) to Rule 8.3 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. In particular, we recommend that the commentary expressly state that the rule does not affect the obligation of a mediator to maintain the confidentiality of mediation proceedings.

Letter to NYS Courts re: Presumptive ADR Initiative
August 2019: This letter offers the Executive Committee’s considered suggestions and recommendations regarding the New York State Unified Court Systems’ Presumptive ADR Initiative, which was announced on May 14, 2019 by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks. The letter was limited to the implementation of presumptive mediation, and among the subjects we addressed are the need for competent, well trained mediators; informing parties about mediation and other relevant court-annexed mediation programs; the need to ensure that mediators are properly compensated; selection of court-appointed mediators; and collection of data on program outcomes.

Letter to COSAC on Proposed Amendments to Rules 2.4 and 7.2
July 2019: This letter provides the Section’s recommendations regarding certain amendments proposed by the NYSBA Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) to Rules 2.4 and 7.2 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. In particular, we recommend clarifications to the respective commentaries in light of the operation of the mediation privilege and the designation of arbitrators and mediators as experienced in the ADR field by organizations such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution, and the International Mediation Institute.

Report on Pre-Dispute Arbitration of Employment Claims
June 2019: This report describes the characteristics of employment arbitration and the relevant legislation and resolutions, discusses both the advantages and disadvantages of arbitrating employment claims relative to court litigation, and considers ways to resolve or mitigate the concerns that have been raised.

New York Law in International Matters
The increasingly global business community requires accurate and comprehensive information on choice of laws, procedures and legal systems to govern agreements, selection of the best forum in which to resolve their disputes, and the most efficient and equitable means of that dispute resolution. New York, as a global financial and commercial capital, plays a critical role in all these choices.

Report on the Dodd-Frank Act
April 2011, The Section approved comments to be submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with respect to the study of arbitration mandated by the Dodd Frank Act. The Section takes no position as to the appropriate treatment of consumer disputes, but strongly supports a thorough examination of dispute resolution processes to ensure that they are in the public interest and fair to consumers. The Section’s comments identify issues that it is urged should be considered by the Bureau in its study.

Report on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act
January 2011: The Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) submits this Report on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act and Uniform Collaborative Law Rules (referred to herein collectively as the “UCLA”) promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (“NCCUSL”) for the purpose of standardizing for those states choosing to adopt it the form of dispute resolution known as Collaborative Law.

Through the Eyes of New York Litigators
The Mediation Committee of the State Bar Dispute Resolution Section and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the New York City Bar surveyed New York civil itigators to explore their views on mediation.

Guidelines for the Arbitrator’s Conduct of the Pre-Hearing Phase of International Arbitrations

November 2010: International Arbitration is a substantial practice in New York. Many international contracts provide for applicability of New York law, and such contracts often specify New York as a venue for international arbitration. However, there has been concern in recent years that the choice of New York as the site of an international arbitration might prompt the arbitral tribunal to depart from normal international practice by imposing American style discovery on the parties. It is the view of the international arbitration bar in New York that these concerns are not justified.

Final Report on Mediator Quality 
May 2010: This report examines the issue of mediator quality/credentialing and makes recommendations for specific action steps for adoption by the Section.

Report on the Arbitration Fairness Act 
April 2009: The Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association (“the DR Section”) urges Congress to carefully review arbitration bills introduced in Congress to ensure that they do not interfere with general commercial arbitration. This most particularly applies in the international context where arbitration is often the only practicable choice for dispute resolution.

Report on Arbitration Discovery in Domestic Commercial Cases 
April 2009: As discovery proceedings have exploded in civil actions in the United States, there has been a trend to inject into arbitration expensive elements that had traditionally been reserved for litigation — interrogatories; requests to admit; dispositive motions; lengthy depositions; and massive requests for documents, including electronic data. This has particularly been the case as the use of arbitration has grown for the largest, most complex commercial cases.


Dispute Resolution Section Diversity Scholarships

What are DRS Diversity Scholarships?

Each year, the Dispute Resolution Section of the NY State Bar Association (“DRS”) will award a maximum of 5 mediation training scholarships and 5 arbitration training scholarships, to encourage greater opportunities for minorities and women in the field of dispute resolution.

Who is Eligible for the Scholarships?
Anyone admitted to the bar in New York may apply for the scholarships. Preference will be given to minority and female applicants.

Mentorship Program

Diversity Mentorship Program

The NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section Diversity Committee (the “Diversity Committee”) encourages, fosters and supports the development of diverse talent and inclusion in all types of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, mini trials, etc. both as neutrals and as representatives of parties in the processes. Diversity of those participating in the dispute resolution process enables the presentation of many views and provides a greater perspective on how and in what way to use dispute resolution to resolve problems, leading to more options and fairer results. Encouraging a diverse and inclusive environment also promotes respect and fosters treating individuals of diverse backgrounds fairly.

As part of the foregoing mission, the Diversity Committee initiated the Mentorship Program to provide mentorship, training, encouragement, and opportunities to attorneys who have been historically under-represented in the field of alternative dispute resolution. The goal of the Mentorship Program is to increase diversity in the alternative dispute resolution community by providing such attorneys with training, support, and connections to assist them in becoming active participants in the area of alternative dispute resolution. Through the Mentorship Program, mentees work with or “shadow” their mentors to gain first-hand experience and training in alternative dispute resolution, attend seminars on alternative dispute resolution, and network with other professionals in the alternative dispute resolution community. The Mentorship Program duration is one (1) year.


  1. Be a member of a diverse group;
  2. Licensed attorney;
  3. Experience or Demonstrated Interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution: court annexed programs such as SDNY mediation, Attorney Client Fee program, or with a community mediation program such as Peace Horizons;
  4. Membership in NYSBA (non-members must apply for membership within 30 days of approval to the Mentorship Program).

How to Negotiate with Difficult Parties in Challenging High Stakes Situations (June 30, 2021)

How to Negotiate with Difficult Parties in Challenging high Stakes Situations

The Habits of Highly Effective Dispute Resolvers (May 26, 2021)

Highly Effective Dispute Resolvers

Global Spotlight: Best Practice in Arbitrator Selection in Africa (April 28, 2021)

Global Spotlight Best Practices in Arbitrator Selection in Africa

Her Seat at the Table: Women in Negotiation & Self-Advocacy (February 8, 2021)

Her Seat at the Table

Urgent Update: Progress in Presumptive ADR (November 16, 2020)

DR Urgent Update Progress Presumptive ADR


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