New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

New York County - Manhattan

ADR Overview

The Commercial Division in New York County Supreme Court operates the Commercial Division Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. The Program is basically a mediation program, in which neutrals meet with the attorneys and parties in cases, review the facts and legal issues presented by the case, and attempt to facilitate discussions between or among the parties and their attorneys and explore the possibility of settlement. Cases are referred to the Program in one of two ways. First, a case may be referred by order of the assigned Commercial Division Justice. Determination of the cases that should be referred and the appropriate time at which to refer them are matters for the discretion of the assigned Division Justice. Generally, the Program prefers to receive cases early in their life. Second, beginning July 28, 2014, cases will be referred to a Mandatory Mediation Pilot Project pursuant to an Administrative Order of the Administrative Judge for Civil Matters of the First Judicial District. Each week, every fifth Commercial Division case in which a Request for Judicial Intervention was filed and an assignment to the Division was made during the previous week will be designated for referral to the Pilot Project for mediation. When an Order of Referral is signed by a Justice or when the Chief Clerk designates a case for referral to the Pilot Project pursuant to the Administrative Order, the parties are required to participate in mediation in accordance with the Rules and Procedures of the ADR Program. Settlement, however, is, of course, purely voluntary. The court maintains a roster of neutrals, who are required to have training in mediation. There are over 250 neutrals on the court’s roster.

Pursuant to the ADR Rules and Procedures, when a case is referred by order of the assigned Justice, a mediator is designated from the roster by the ADR Coordinator, subject to the right of the parties to choose another one. In Pilot Project cases, the parties may choose a mediator, but, if they are unable to agree, the Coordinator will provide the parties with the names of three prospective mediators and the parties will rank the names, and the highest-ranked person will become the mediator. The first ADR session must take place within 30 days from the date the mediator is confirmed by the Coordinator, and the process is to conclude within 45 days from that date. The litigation is not stayed during the mediation process unless the court so directs, which occurs very rarely. No later than ten days prior to the first ADR session, each party must submit to the mediator a memorandum setting forth the party’s opinions as to the facts and issues in the case, contentions, and suggestions as to the bases on which the case might be settled.

Attendance is mandatory for the first four hours of the ADR process. During the process, the mediator will typically meet with all parties and attorneys in joint sessions, during which they discuss the facts and issues and the positions of the parties. The mediator will from time to time also meet separately with each party or party representative and the attorney therefor in what are called “caucuses,” which allow the mediator to explore the demands of the parties and their reactions to the discussions in the joint session. The Rules and Procedures provide for additional time to mediate if the matter is not resolved at the first session.

The mediation process is confidential and communications therein are not to be revealed outside of the ADR process. The mediator shall not be required to testify later about what happened at the mediation. Confidentiality is intended to promote frank discussion at the mediation and to ensure that nothing a party says in mediation may adversely affect the party’s case in court should the mediation fail to resolve the dispute. There is no charge to the parties for four hours of mediation. If the mediation process continues beyond the four hours, the parties must compensate the mediator at a rate fixed by the ADR Rules and Procedures or another rate if agreed upon.

June 25, 2014

Simone Abrams
60 Centre Street, Room 148
New York, New York 10007
Phone: 212-256-7986
Fax: 212-952-3772

Doreen Gushue
Commercial Division Support Office
60 Centre Street, Room 119 A
New York, New York 10007
Phone: 646-386-3020

ADR Documents:

Rules and Procedures (effective July 28, 2014):

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentRules and Procedures of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (rev. 6/2014)

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentAdministrative Order - Mandatory Mediation Pilot Project


Rules and Procedures (effective through July 25, 2014):

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentGuide to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (rev. 2/2013)

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentRules of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (rev. 2/2013)


Forms for Cases Referred by the Assigned Justice:

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentADR Initiation Form (rev. 11/2013)


Forms for Cases in the Mandatory Mediation Pilot Project:

Form to be Submitted by Counsel:

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentNotification Regarding Selection of Mediator


Forms to be Transmitted by Court Staff or the ADR Coordinator:

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentNotice of Referral of Case to Mandatory Mediation

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentNotice of Designation of Prospective Mediators

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentNotice Designating and Confirming Mediator


Ethical Standards:

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentEthical Standards for Mediators

Ethical Standards for Arbitrators and Neutral Evaluators

Roster of Neutrals:

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentA - F     Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentG - L     Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentM - S     Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentT - Z

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentApplication to Join the Roster of Neutrals









back to top