Conference Agenda


Wednesday, June 15

Pre-Conference Cocktail Reception

6:00- 9:00 PM

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


Thursday, June 16

All conference sessions to take place at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  55 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY


8:00 AM: Registration and Breakfast

8:30 AM: Opening Remarks


Conference Sessions:


1A: 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Honoring the Dignity of Parties in Conflict Resolution Settings: How Practitioners Can Find Hidden Value and Encourage More Sustainable, Satisfying Resolutions

Presenters: Christine Straw, Project Coordinator, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4), Earth Institute, Columbia University; Claudia E. Cohen,  Ph.D., President and founder of The Third Alternative, LLC; Danielle Coon, Associate Director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution; Kathy Komaroff Goodman, founding Principal, ACCORD


Program Description: Human dignity is frequently invoked as a fundamental construct in human rights work and international diplomacy (UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.) Yet preserving the dignity of parties in mediation or other conflict resolution settings is not a part of common discourse. We suggest that the lens of dignity is useful to practitioners for promoting robust resolutions of conflicts, even in settings that emphasize problem-solving and dispute resolution outcomes over relational transformation.


Using the construct of dignity offers a way for practitioners to understand and respond to critical human needs that may otherwise be left unstated (such as connectedness, safety, fairness, recognition.) When dignity needs are not addressed – or are violated–resolutions may be difficult to reach and/or not sustainable. After making the case that dignity awareness is important for practitioners, we go on to describe examples of what dignity and dignity violations “look like” and to address some challenges to and strategies for honoring and repairing dignity.


This session will explore what honoring dignity looks like in the specific contexts of civil court and community mediation and in working with populations who have experienced dignity violations. We propose that practitioners with well-developed emotional intelligence are better equipped to assist parties in reaching an enduring resolution. The critical competencies of self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy in developing more skillful responses to parties’ dignity needs will be addressed. Session attendees will be invited to share their experiences.


1B: 9:00 - 10:00 AM

What is an Ombuds, and is it the Future of ADR?

Approved for NY CLE Credit: 1.0 Skills.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

Presenters: Rita Callahan, Associate Ombuds, University of CA San Francisco; Timothy P. Shore, Vice President and Chief Ombudsman, CO-OP®, Office of the Ombudsman, Pfizer Inc. ; Joan Waters, University Ombuds Officer, Columbia University; James Hurst, Agency Staff Attorney, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs; Nancy Deering, Newark Public Schools and IOA 


  • Program Description: Explore the impact of the ombuds role in advancing conflict resolution and ADR. Learn the history of ombuds, different types of ombuds, what an ombuds does, how an organizational ombuds functions, and the impact on the field. How does one become an ombuds? Is there a synergy between an ombuds and other conflict resolution practitioners?


Hear from different type of ombuds who practice in different arenas, and their path to being an ombuds. What are the qualifications of an ombuds? Is an ombuds role the ADR and conflict resolution answer for many organizations? Hear different views about the future of ombudsing and the future of ADR.


Program Materials can be found here



1C: 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Bridging the Divide Among Adult Families with Elder Mediation

Presenter: Crystal Thorpe, Co-Founder, Principal of Elder Decisions®; Co-Founder, Principal, Agreement Resources, LLC


Program Description: As the population ages, families are facing difficult decisions about elder care, living situations, family homes, and personal property. These decisions can be emotional and challenging even when everyone is “on the same page,” and they become rapidly more complex when there is disagreement in the ranks. Learn how Elder Mediation can help, and consider the skill sets needed to offer this increasingly sought-after service. Hear about challenges in this practice area, including: determining who needs to be at the table; concerns about capacity; working with multiple stakeholders; geographically dispersed families; and involving other professionals; to name just a few.



1D: 9:00 - 11:10 AM

Commercial Mediation Workshop: Techniques for Dealing with Distributive/Money Issues

Approved for NY CLE Credit: 2.5 Skills.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

Presenter: Dina Jansenson, JAMS


Program Description: In this hands-on, interactive workshop with famed mediation trainer Dina Jansenson of JAMS, learn key techniques for managing the bargaining process from both the advocate and mediator perspective. Learn the nuances of distributive negotiation, including who should potentially make the first offer, the life-cycle of a high/low negotiation and the subtleties of concession strategies. Understand the benefits of parallel/hypothetical bargaining, the “next to last numbers” technique, and impasse breaking strategies when parties resist making moves. This workshop is a specific section taken from Dina’s larger three-day Advanced Commercial Mediation training at the New York City Bar which sells out every year. ACR-GNY is thrilled to bring you this workshop as a part of our Annual Conference. (This workshop will be continued in 2D.)


Program Materials can be found here.


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2A: 10:10 - 11:10 AM

Addressing Peaceful and Violent Conflicts at Home and Abroad: Prevention, Resolution and Recovery

Presenters: Bob Lamb, Visiting Research Professor, Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College; Daniel Levine, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy, Center for International & Security Studies, University of Maryland; Assistant Research Scholar, Institute for Philosophy Public Policy; Beth Fisher Yoshida, Faculty Member and Director, Negotiation and Conflict REsolution MS Program, Columbia University  


Program Description: In its conduct of foreign policy, the United States has undervalued mediation as a tool for deescalating violence. Very few foreign service officers are genuinely skilled in negotiating and mediating even simple conflicts, much less the complex, multiparty conflicts that are increasingly common today. While such trouble spots are the subject of foreign policy, the parties themselves often have much more local concerns (exploited and magnified by foreign interests). What can community mediation happening inside the United States teach us about how to deal with foreign conflicts? And what can the complexity of foreign conflicts teach domestic mediators about the nature of conflict and violence in their own communities? This panel brings together experts who can bridge the foreign-domestic divide and give participants new ways of thinking about the role of mediation in complex community conflicts.



2B: 10:10 - 11:10 AM

Understanding and Defusing Workplace Drama

Approved for NY CLE Credit: 1.0 Skills.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

Presenters: Lisa Pomerantz, Esq.; Aoifa O’Donnell, LCSW, SAP, CEO, National EAP Inc. 


  • Program Description: Workplace drama manifests itself in many ways, including insubordination, backstabbing, petty arguments, power struggles, inappropriate comments, and passing the buck. It adversely affects employee morale and productivity and can lead to employee claims of harassment or discrimination. In this session, we will discuss the causes and behavior patterns of workplace drama and strategies that can be used by mediators, HR professionals and leaders to counteract and defuse workplace drama.


Program Materials can be found here


2C: 10:10 - 11:10 AM

When do we Call it “Good” Mediation?

Presenter: Rochelle Arms, PHD Student, S-CAR


Program Description: This workshop will introduce current academic research on mediator practice, and the challenges with determining what makes a mediation or a mediator “good.” Studies of mediation largely focus on depictions of the various types and less on the effects of the various approaches, in part because of limitations in standard measurement tools. After the presentation on mediation research, workshop participants will engage in a reflective conversation about the diverse interpretations of “good” mediation, the consequent challenges for evaluating both mediators and mediations, and how to reconcile these uncertainties.



2D: 9:00 - 11:10 AM (continued from 1D)

Commercial Mediation Workshop: Techniques for Dealing with Distributive/Money Issues (Continued)

Approved for NY CLE Credit: 2.5 Skills.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

Presenter: Dina Jansenson, JAMS


Program Description: In this hands-on, interactive workshop with famed mediation trainer Dina Jansenson of JAMS, learn key techniques for managing the bargaining process from both the advocate and mediator perspective. Learn the nuances of distributive negotiation, including who should potentially make the first offer, the life-cycle of a high/low negotiation and the subtleties of concession strategies. Understand the benefits of parallel/hypothetical bargaining, the “next to last numbers” technique, and impasse breaking strategies when parties resist making moves. This workshop is a specific section taken from Dina’s larger three-day Advanced Commercial Mediation training at the New York City Bar which sells out every year. ACR-GNY is thrilled to bring you this workshop as a part of our Annual Conference. (This workshop is a continuation of 1D.)


Program Materials can be found here.


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3A: 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

What are the Ethical Boundaries of Mediator Influence in the Private Caucus Session?

Approved for NY CLE Credit: 1.5 Ethics and Professionalism.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

Presenter: Simeon Baum, President, Resolve Mediation Services Inc.


Program Description: In this interactive session, Simeon H Baum, President of Resolve Mediation Services, Inc. (www.mediators.com), will encourage participants to engage in a reflective dialogue on the limits of mediator manipulation of parties (and counsel).  Drawing on a model of mediation suggested by ancient classics, the Tao te Ching (wu wei, or non-doing), ethical challenges to manipulation in Kant and Buber, and the 2005 ABA AAA ACR Revised Standards of Mediator Conduct – as well as on the experience of mediators, parties and counsel in mediation – we will consider the interplay of ethical norms such as party-self-determination, impartiality, competence, quality of the process, truth in advertising, advancement of the mediation practice, and other standards ,with mediation behaviors and scenarios that test the mettle of all involved.  Join us for this lively Town Hall style discussion reflecting on the fundamental issue of manipulation, integrity and trust.


Program Materials can be found here.


3B: 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

The Broad Spectrum of Restorative Practice

Presenters: Meredith Gray, Restorative Justice Coordinator for Criminal Court, New York Peace Institute; Elizabeth Clemants, Hidden Water; Erika Sasson, Director of Restorative Practices, Center for Court Innovation, Teachers Unite.
E.M. Eisen-Markowitz, Teacher Unite, Dr. Andrea Rodriguez.
Moderator: Halley Anolik, New York Center for Interpersonal Development.


Program Description: In recent years, the term “Restorative Justice” has become a buzzword among ADR professionals and the general public, but what does it mean and how is it being applied in real life? This panel will give attendees a basic theoretical understanding of restorative practices and share the insights of practitioners who reflect the broad spectrum of the work being done locally in fields including education, criminal justice, community development, family systems, and more.



3C: 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

A Blogging Strategy For Peace Builders: How to Use Inbound Strategies to Demonstrate Your Value to a World in Conflict

Presenters: Jesan Sorrells, Owner-Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant - Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)


Program Description: Marketing is hard for the peace builder, whether that individual is an academic, legal professional, or

independent practitioner. Developing an email list and a blogging strategy is central to long-term success in the space of attracting clients. Leveraging the vagaries of inbound content distribution (and separating their importance from tools such as Facebook and Twitter) can help the savvy peace builder attract paying clients. This session will focus on distilling practical strategies from chapter two of Jesan’s book Marketing For Peace Builders: How to Market Your Value to a World in Conflict for ADR professional success.


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Luncheon: Keynote Address + ADR ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS:
12:45 PM-3:00 PM

Keynote Address: Brian Lehrer, WNYC - Brian to interview Hon. Shira Scheindlin as a part of his keynote

ADR Achievement Award Honoree: Center for Court Innovation 

ADR Achievement Award Honoree: John Kiernan, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton; Chairman of the Board of Directors, The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR); Incoming President, New York City Bar


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4A: 3:10 - 4:10 PM

Restorative Justice and Federal Court Sentencing: A Case Study

Presenters: Vivianne Guevara, Director of Client & Mitigation Services, Federal Defenders of New York; Lisa Hoyes, Assistant Dean for Public Service, NYU Law School.


Program Description: In 2013,  social workers at the Federal Defenders of New York (FDNY) recognized a need for client, family, and community healing as an opportunity to introduce a different way to repair harm. Restorative circles are used in a number of arenas, including schools, community organizations, and criminal justice settings. Circles are used to make plans, address conflict between parties, build community, or make important family decisions. To meet the need for healing in the district and with their clients, the FDNY began to train its social work staff on how to facilitate restorative justice circles. They provide restorative circles for sentencing and mitigation, circles between U.S. probation officers and clients, circles for other criminal justice organizations, and circles with our their defender staff, with plans to increase and diversify the types of circles facilitated.


This session will examine the FDNY's use of restorative circles, focusing on one sentencing circle in particular, which took place in 2014. Hosted by Vivianne Guevara, Director of Client & Mitigation Services at the Federal Defenders, the session will include with video footage of the circle, and reflections on the experience from the defendant's attorney, Lisa Noyes, members of his family, and an interview sentencing judge, Honorable John Gleeson (ret.) of the EDNY.



4B: 3:10 - 4:10 PM

Mediation at the U.S. EEOC:  When Mediation meets a Federal Agency

Approved for NY CLE Credit: 1.0 Skills.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

Presenters: Christopher Kwok, ADR Coordinator, Mediation Program at the EEOC, NYDO; Ralph Charles, Federal Mediator, EEOC; David Reinman, Esq., Staff Mediator, EEOC; Deborah Riek, Esq., Staff Mediator, EEOC


Program Description: The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It’s not surprising that the US EEOC has adopted mediation into its toolbox - the Department of Labor was the first to do so in 1913, which evolved in 1943 into the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). The US EEOC first piloted its mediation program in 1991 in four regional offices and rolled out nationally in 1999. The EEOC’s Mediation Program offers parties to a charge the opportunity for a fair and efficient means to resolve their employment disputes. A neutral mediator assists the parties in reaching a voluntary, negotiated agreement.


Mediation and mediators play different roles in different settings. This panel will focus on what mediation becomes when it is filtered thru the prism of a Federal Agency. Panelists will discuss U.S. EEOC mediation procedures, as well as draw upon their own experiences and the techniques they have used to resolve employment related disputes.


Program Materials can be found here


4D: 3:10 - 4:10 PM

International Commercial Dispute Resolution: Recent Developments and Future Predictions
Approved for NY CLE Credit: 1.0 Areas of Professional Practice.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

Presenters: Lorraine Brennan, JAMS; James Berger, Partner, King & Spalding LLP

  • Program Description:This session will cover the major developments in international dispute resolution, including how the tools available continue to evolve as the market becomes more educated. It will also make some predictions about where all this is headed, and what regions present significant growth opportunities. The session will provide not only an institutional perspective, but that of the users and dispute resolution professionals.


Program Materials can be found here



W2: 3:10 - 5:20 PM

Tidying Up the New Mediator's Toolbox: A Workshop for Mediation Trainers

Presenters: Dan Kos, Management Analyst, New York State Unified Court System


Program Description: Whether training new mediators or corporate clients in conflict management, trainers in the ADR field tout the ability to teach participants new skills. Often these skills are bundled together to build a metaphorical conflict management “toolbox.”  Sometimes the toolboxes we share with trainees become cluttered with too many tools or tools that are rarely used. Based on the New York State Unified Court System’s years of experience mentoring and certifying mediation trainers, and collectively observing more than 100 mediation trainings by different mediation trainers around the country, this workshop is designed to help new and experienced trainers reflect on the skills toolboxes in their training curriculum and learn the seven stage model of skills training used by the most effective trainers and teachers.
(This workshop will be continued in 5C.)


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5A: 4:20 - 5:20 PM

A Life in Justice: Honoring Judge Judith S Kaye

  • Approved for NY CLE Credit: 1.0 Areas of Professional Practice.  This session provides transitional/non-transitional credit 

  • Presenters: Sharese Crouther, Strategic Partnership Specialist, Center for Court Innovation; Kathleen R. DeCataldo, Executive Director, New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children; Judge Susan Read, Of Counsel, Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Alexandra Dosman, Executive Director, NYIAC


Program Description: In January 2016, New York lost a legal luminary, Judge Judith S. Kaye. In 1983, Judge Kaye was the first woman appointed to New York’s highest court. She served on the New York Court of Appeals for 25 years, 15 of those as Chief Judge. In 2009, she joined the law firm Skadden Arps as Of Counsel. Both during and after her time on the bench, Judge Kaye found time for a remarkable array of initiatives, all devoted to improving the lives of New Yorkers. In this panel, friends and colleagues of Judge Kaye discuss four of her “passion projects”: her work as a jurist on the Court of Appeals; her innovations to court systems with the creation of community courts; her focus on keeping children out of the criminal justice system and in school; and her founding of the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC).


Program Materials can be found here


5B: 4:20 - 5:20 PM

How to Incorporate Online Mediation into your Practice

Presenters: Guiseppe Leone, Founder, Virtual Mediation Lab


  • Program Description: During this presentation, Giuseppe Leone, founder of Virtual Mediation Lab, an online mediation project sponsored by ACR Hawaii, will explain:

(1) What online mediation means and how it works.

(2) The benefits of online mediation.

(3) How mediators can do online what they are used to do face-to-face.

(4) How to blend face-to-face and online mediation.

(5) How mediators can learn in 2 hours how to add online mediation to their practice.

At the end of his presentation, Giuseppe will also show a video recording of an online mediation simulation run with ACRGNY members, who will share and discuss their experience with the audience.



W2: 3:10 - 5:20 PM (continued from 4C)

Tidying Up the New Mediator's Toolbox: A Workshop for Mediation Trainers (Continued)

Presenters: Daniel Kos, Management Analyst, New York State Unified Court System


  • Program Description: Whether training new mediators or corporate clients in conflict management, trainers in the ADR field tout the ability to teach participants new skills. Often these skills are bundled together to build a metaphorical conflict management “toolbox.” Sometimes the toolboxes we share with trainees become cluttered with too many tools or tools that are rarely used. Based on the New York State Unified Court System’s years of experience mentoring and certifying mediation trainers, and collectively observing more than 100 mediation trainings by different mediation trainers around the country, this workshop is designed to help new and experienced trainers reflect on the skills toolboxes in their training curriculum and learn the seven stage model of skills training used by the most effective trainers and teachers.

(This workshop is a continuation of 4D.)



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COCKTAIL HOUR:  5:30 - 7:00 PM

Featured Speaker: Susan Herman, NYPD Deputy Commissioner, Collaborative Policing


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