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Mediation Settlement Day

Mediation Settlement Day October 16, 2014 and
Annual Kick-Off Event October 7, 2014

Mediation Settlement Day is an annual event designed to raise awareness about the many benefits of mediation and the wealth of available resources for people in conflict. Organizations throughout the United States and beyond coordinate efforts to celebrate and promote mediation on the same day each year.  On this day and throughout the month of October, organizations conduct special programs to promote mediation and to educate potential parties and attorneys about the mediation process.  The aim is to encourage parties to try mediation for the first time and to reinforce its value and effectiveness to those who have benefitted from it before.

What is Mediation?
Mediation is an efficient, user-friendly means for resolving conflicts and disputes. Instead of asking a judge to make a decision in court, parties in conflict meet with a trained mediator who helps them communicate with one another and if possible, reach an agreement that satisfies everyone. If the people in the dispute are not able to reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone involved, they are still free to ask a judge to hear their case and make a decision in court.

Annual Kick-Off Event -October 7, 2014
A lively Kick-Off Event is held in advance of Mediation Settlement Day to bring the community together to celebrate mediation. The Kick-Off Event begins with an opportunity to network and learn about mediation training and services. The Kick-Off Event also features a panel discussion and a keynote address by the Honorary Chair. 1.5 FREE CLE credit is awarded. The MSD Honorary Chairperson delivers the key note address, and a Front-Line Champion Award is presented to an individual who has made meaningful contributions to the field of mediation.

Save the date for this year's Kick-Off Event, which will be held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at the New York Law School, located at 185 W. Broadway, NY, NY. Festivities begin at 4:30PM and conclude at 7:00PM. Honorable Sol Wachtler will serve as Honorary Chair of Mediation Settlement Day 2014 and will deliver the keynote address.

Honorable Sol Wachtler presently functions as a Distinguished Professor at Touro Law School in Central Islip, New York. He is also the Chair of the Law and Psychiatry Institute of North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital. Wachtler, an advocate on behalf of the mentally ill, contributed to the book Serving Mentally Ill Defendants. In recognition of his consideration for the mentally ill, Judge Sol Wachtler has earned awards from the Mental Health Association in New York State. Additionally, the National Alliance of Mental Illness in New York State bestowed the judge with the Justice Award for his many decisions protecting and advancing the rights of individuals with mental and physical disabilities.

Judge Sol Wachtler has a long history of looking out for groups that are discriminated against. He is most noted for the decision that made spousal rape illegal. At one point, there was a marital exemption to rape, making it okay for a husband to rape his wife. However, the judge declared that law unconstitutional and encouraged legal reform. Judge Sol Wachtler also helped protect obese people from discrimination and women from gender bias through the broadening of a human rights law. In further support of his progressive agenda, the judge established a New York State Judicial Commission for Minority Concerns and a New York State Task Force on Gender Bias.

Prior to beginning his legal career, Judge Sol Wachtler earned a B.A. and a LL.B. from Washington and Lee University. He became a County Supervisor in 1963 and four years later was elected to the New York State Supreme Court. Ultimately he ended up at the New York Court of Appeals, where he served for 20 years, spending eight years as the Court's Chief Judge.


Summary of Kick-Off Event Activities and Start Times:

Open House: 4:30PM
Panel Discussion: 5:30PM
Frontline Champion Award Presentation: 6:30PM
Key Note Address: 6:45PM

Honorary Chair
Past Honorary Chairs have included The Honorable Janet Reno (2003), former U.S. Attorney General; former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young Jr. (2004); Kenneth Feinberg (2005), Founder and Managing Partner for Feinberg, Rozen, LLP; Lenny Wilkens (2006), former N.Y. Knicks Head Coach; Michael Greco (2006), former ABA President; The Honorable Milton Mollen (2007), former Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, 2nd Dept.; Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. (2008), Director U.S. EEOC District Office; former Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System Ann Pfau (2009); New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly (2010); Michael Sardo (2011), Creator and Executive Producer of USA Network's Fairly Legal; Gary Belsky (2012), award-winning writer and editor; and Director of the One Boston Fund 2013, and Founder and Managing Partner at Feinberg, Rozen, LLP, Kenneth Feinberg (2013).

Who should attend Mediation Settlement Day and Kick-Off Event activities?
Anyone interested in becoming a mediator or learning more about mediation as an alternative means for resolving disputes. These free events provide excellent networking and learning opportunities for individuals, attorneys, mediators, as well as corporate and law firm representatives. No advance registration is required.

Who Sponsors Mediation Settlement Day?
Mediation Settlement Day is sponsored by: FINRA Dispute Resolution and the NYC Bar Association, ADR Committee in conjunction with the New York State Unified Court System and over one hundred national and regional alternative dispute resolution programs, bar associations, community-based programs, public service and non-profit organizations, and schools. Professional mediators and for-profit organizations can participate by hosting or attending events surrounding Mediation Settlement Day. View the list of sponsoring organizations.

Visit our online photo gallery for pictures of previous kick-off events and Mediation Settlement Day programs.

Why Become a Sponsor?
Sponsorship of Mediation Settlement Day is free and reflects your organization’s support and acknowledgment of mediation as a useful means of resolving disputes. Sponsorship benefits include:

  • A shared table at the Kick-Off Event Open House to showcase the organization's program.
  • recognition of your organization on the Mediation Settlement Day information website and an opportunity to network at the MSD Kick Off Event.

How Can Sponsors Promote Mediation on Mediation Settlement Day?
Sponsors can commemorate Mediation Settlement Day by:

  1. Sending announcements of the events to clients, parties, judges, arbitrators;
  2. Attending the Kick-Off Event and distributing your organization's literature;
  3. Providing a place in their own facilities, with an expert to explain, promote, and field questions about mediation;
  4. Providing extra neutrals to mediate cases;
  5. Arranging for mediators to serve at reduced rates on Mediation Settlement Day or holding special training sessions;
  6. Obtaining a local or state government proclamation for Mediation Settlement Day.

To become a sponsor, use the on-line registration form
(Note to sponsors: This year we will be having tables set up to display promotional material. Please bring your material to set up at New York Law School on October 7th by 4:00PM to give to interested persons during the open house portion of the evening).

How Can My Organization Submit an Event for Mediation Settlement Day?
Sponsors may wish to host an event to commemorate Mediation Settlement Day.  

Use the on-line event submission formso we can publicize your organization’s event for this year.

What is the Frontline Champion Award?
The Frontline Champion Award recognizes individuals who have made a meaningful impact on the field of mediation or helped others through their commitment to the effective practice of mediation. Past winners include Professor Carol Liebman, Columbia Law School (2006), former Chief Judge Tina Brozman, Southern District Bankruptcy Court (2007), Roger Brach, Safe Horizon Brooklyn/Manhattan, Bill Powell – Center for Dispute Settlement Inc. and Bill Carroll – Mediation Center of Dutchess County (2008 tri-champions recognized for 25 years of volunteer service as mediators in the Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program), Professor Lela Love,  Director, Cardozo Law School’s Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution (2009), Margaret Shaw Esq. (2010), JAMS mediator, Maria Volpe Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Director of the Dispute Resolution Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice-City of University of New York (2011), Distinguished Mediator and Arbitrator, Roger M. Deitz (2012), and Timothy Germany, FMCS Commissioner (2013).

This year's Frontline Champion Award will be presented to Kenneth Andrichik who is the Senior Vice President, Chief Counsel, and Director of Mediation Strategy, FINRA Dispute Resolution. Please join us in celebrating Kenneth's contributions to the ADR field.


How Do I Submit a Nomination for the Frontline Champion Award?
To submit a nomination for the Frontline Champion Award, use the on-line nomination form.

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