Using Mediation to Resolve Title VII Disputes: Changing the Meaning of Winning

Elizabeth Pollina Donlon

In both workplace and nonworkplace disputes, the parties involved may become so focused on winning in court that they may lose sight of the overall costs of the conflict and the ravaging effects of the litigation on their lives and/or businesses. When the dispute concerns sexual harassment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a court battle could be especially pricey for the employer. Litigation can go on for years, cost millions of dollars in legal fees, erode productivity, cause irreparable damage to an employer ’ s brand, and ultimately adversely affect the employer ’ s bottom line.

This article describes a recent case that calls into question an employer ’ s perception of “winning” and suggests that mediation is a viable alternative at all stages of the dispute, not just in cases involving allegations of sexual harassment under Title VII, but in most other potentially litigious instances as well.

Read Full Article (PDF) Using Mediation to Resolve Title VII Disputes: Changing the Meaning of Winning

Michael A. Levy and Patrick (Mike) McKenna join Nassau Bar Association Tribunals

CAMS neutrals, Michael A. Levy and Patrick (Mike) McKenna have been appointed to the Mediation and Arbitration Tribunals of the Nassau County (NY) Bar Association.

As a condition of membership on the Tribunals’ panels, mediators and arbitrators must first be screened and approved by the Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee which is also charged with screening candidates for judgeships in Nassau County.

Sheryl-Anne Sastow joins CAMS

Sheryl-Anne Sastow

Sheryl-Anne Sastow

CAMS welcomes Sheryl-Anne Sastow, Esq. to its panel of mediators who will specialize in divorce and family law mediations.

Sheryl-Anne, a native of South Africa, emigrated to the United States in 1978. She earned her B.A. in Psychology in 197_ from the State University of New York at Albany where she graduated summa cum laude. Following a short, six-year detour in commercial real estate, she returned to her studies, receiving her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

During her first ten years of law practice, Sheryl-Anne litigated personal injury, matrimonial and family law cases. Since 2007 she has focused her practice in alternative dispute resolution, emphasizing divorce and related family law mediations and collaborative law practice in addition to commercial matters..

Sheryl-Anne serves as a Neutral Court Evaluator for the Nassau County, New York Supreme Court in the guardianship field. She is a divorce mediator for the Nassau County Supreme Court Matrimonial Center and is listed on the roster of mediators for the Nassau County Supreme Court Commercial Division, as well as the roster of mediators for the Nassau County Bar Association. Sheryl-Anne is also on the panel of arbitrators for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Nassau County District Court.

Michael A. Levy joins arbitration roster of FINRA® Dispute Resolution

Michael A. Levy has successfully completed all steps required, and has been appointed, to join the roster of Arbitrators of the FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

FINRA is the largest non-governmental regulatory organization for securities brokers and dealers doing business in the United States. FINRA was created in 2007 through the consolidation of National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD) and the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration operations of the New York Stock Exchange.

FINRA conducts the regulatory oversight of more than 5,000 securities firms and 666,000 registered representatives. Among other things, it is responsible for arbitration and mediation functions involving legal disputes in the securities industry.

Michael has previously served as an arbitrator for the NASD and he looks forward to renewing his service to the securities industry and participation in resolving cases that involve both customer claims as well as industry disputes.

Michael A. Levy Approved as Suffolk County Commercial Division Mediator

Michael A. Levy has been approved to serve as a mediator for the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court for Suffolk County. His other court appointments are to the mediation rosters of the Commercial Divisions of the New York Supreme Court for Nassau and Queens Counties, the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. Additionally, he is on the mediation rosters of the American Arbitration Association and FINRA.

Mickee Hennesy Joins CAMS

CAMS is pleased to welcome Mickee Hennesy, Esq. to its panel of mediators and arbitrators.

Mickee Hennesy

Mickee Hennesy, Esq.

Ms. Hennessy is a partner in the Bankruptcy, Workout, and Restructuring Department of the Long Island law firm Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein, LLP. She is a member of the mediation panels of several United States Bankruptcy Courts and is highly qualified to handle mediations of commercial disputes, including issues involving debtors’ and creditors’ rights.

Mickee is the current Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee. She has lectured on, and moderated, a number of panels on bankruptcy, ethics and mediation issues. Mickee enjoys considerable success in mediating contested bankruptcy/commercial matters as a Bankruptcy Court mediator.

Mickee is admitted to practice in the New York State courts as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Mickee received her undergraduate Degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam, Crane School of Music, and was awarded her law degree from Fordham University School of Law.

MICHAEL A. LEVY INVITED TO SERVE ON FEDERAL COURT MEDIATOR ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Michael A. Levy has been invited to serve as a member of the Mediator Advisory Committee of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.  The Committee is tasked with the responsibility for enhancing and developing the mediation program of the Court under the direction of  its full-time mediation supervisor.  It makes recommendations to the Court on such matters as mediator mentoring and evaluations, mediation pilot programs, continuing mediator education and expansion of the Court’s use of its mediation panel to resolve pending federal court cases.

Patrick (Mike) McKenna, a CAMS mediator and arbitrator, is also a member of the Court’s Mediator Advisory Committee.

Loretta Gastwirth Joins CAMS

CAMS is pleased to welcome Loretta M. Gastwirth, Esq. to its panel of mediators and arbitrators.

Loretta Gastwirth, Esq.

Loretta Gastwirth, Esq.

Ms. Gastwirth, a partner in the Long Island law firm of Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP, has more than 30 years’ experience as a commercial litigator.  She brings to CAMS her vast experience in litigation, international and domestic arbitration, mediation and appeals involving commercial, intellectual property, trade secrets, securities, employment, business ownership, construction and Indian Gaming law disputes.  Long Island Business News has recognized Loretta as one of the Top 50 Business Women on Long Island in 2005 and 2013.

Loretta enjoys an outstanding professional reputation and is well known for her work in alternative dispute resolution, particularly in complex commercial cases involving technology and intellectual property matters among other things.  She has been appointed as an arbitrator on many large, complex as well as smaller commercial cases. Loretta is also a certified mediator and she appears on several of the New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division mediation panel rosters.

In addition to authoring “Words of Wisdom: Getting the Best Results in the ADR Process,” “Despite ADR Consent, IP Cases End Up In Court,” “Beware of Ideas,” “Preventing Inevitable Disclosure of Internet Company Trade Secrets,” “Employers: Don’t Blow Your Employees’ Covenant Not to Compete!”, many of Ms. Gastwirth’s cases have been featured in the New York Law Journal.

Loretta is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (1982) and she received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1978 from the State University of New York at Albany where she majored in Business Administration and Marketing.

Michael A. Levy approved as a FINRA MEDIATOR

CAMS is pleased to announce that Michael A. Levy has been approved and appointed as a mediator to the FINRA Dispute Resolution’s national mediator roster.  FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, administers disputes involving brokerage firms.  Its prestigious mediation program is noted for having a highly qualified national pool of mediators who must satisfy a rigorous qualification and background check before being considered for membership.

Previously, in his law practice, Mr. Levy has represented both customers and brokers in securities related cases.  Now, as a member of the FINRA roster of mediators, he will be available to mediate securities disputes between customers and brokerage firms.

Mike McKenna Joins CAMS

CAMS is pleased to welcome Patrick Michael (Mike) McKenna, Esq. to its panel of mediators and arbitrators.

Patrick Michael (Mike) McKenna, Esq.

Patrick Michael (Mike) McKenna, Esq.

Mr. McKenna, a member of the New York and Florida Bars, has been engaged in the private practice of law for more than 35 years, specializing primarily in labor and employment cases.  He has served on numerous labor and commercial mediation panels in New York and Florida as well as the federal mediation panels of the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Until recently electing to transition his professional activities to a full-time neutral practice, Mr. McKenna was an active litigator, representing hundreds of employees and FLSA, Title VII, ADEA, ADA, Section 1983 and ERISA actions in federal court.  He has also represented both public and private sector employers and unions in arbitration proceedings involving contract interpretation and disciplinary matters.  Mr. McKenna  enjoys an extraordinary record of successfully resolving dozens of mediation cases that have been presented to him.

Mr. McKenna is a graduate of Buffalo Law School (1976) and has an M.A. degree in American Government and Politics from George Washington University (1975).  He holds a B.A. degree in Government from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1970).