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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 Commercial Division 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. Upon the directive of the Administrative Judge, commercial cases from outside the Division may become eligible for inclusion in the ADR Program. By Administrative Order dated May 24, 2016, commercial cases from certain Parts outside the Division may be referred to the Program.

Cases are referred to the Program by order of the assigned Commercial Division Justice or authorized non-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 so that a settlement may be explored before the parties have spent large sums in the discovery process.

When an Order of Referral is signed by a Justice, 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.

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 confer with counsel by phone as to scheduling and will then review submissions of the parties required by the Rules and Procedures. During the mediation, the mediator will 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 sessions.

The Rules and Procedures provide for additional time to mediate if the matter is not resolved at the first session. Generally, the ADR Coordinator may, without court intervention, allow an additional 30 days, that is, up to 75 days from the confirmation date.

Pursuant to the Rules and Procedures, 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.

Effective July 28, 2014, cases were referred to a Mandatory Mediation Pilot Project pursuant to an Administrative Order of the Administrative Judge for Civil Matters of the First Judicial District. In this project, each week, every fifth Commercial Division case in which a Request for Judicial Intervention was filed during the previous week was designated for referral to the Pilot Project for mediation. By order of the Adminstrative Judge, this experiment concluded effective February 1, 2016 (although Project procedures remain effective for cases assigned to it prior to the conclusion date).

At present and until further notice, the ADR Program is not accepting or processing applications for admission to the ADR Roster. Applications that were previously submitted but have not yet been acted upon will be kept on file for future consideration.

May 2016

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

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

ADR Documents:

ADR Rules and Procedures (effective February 10, 2016):

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentRules and Procedures of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program(rev. 2/2016)

ADR Rules and Procedures (2014)--For Active Cases Assigned to the Mandatory Mediation Pilot Project:

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentRules and Procedures of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (2014)

Administrative Order Regarding Mediation of Non-Division Commercial Cases:

Adobe Acrobat PDF DocumentOrder dated May 24, 2016


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

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 [Note: Applications not being accepted at present.]









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