CAMS’ CEO

CAMS’ founder and CEO is Michael A. Levy, Esq.  He is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and holds a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

Mr. Levy has created business entities for clients, assisted them in public offerings of securities, represented them in mergers, acquisitions and other business combinations and transactions, drafted complex corporate, partnership and LLC governance agreements, and has acted as legal counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants in a myriad of business litigations.  HIs practice as an attorney also includes a background in taxation, retirement and estate planning and a host of other personal, corporate and business legal matters.  He is also an experienced trusts and estates litigator.

Mr. Levy’s experience as a neutral began in the late 1980s, first as an arbitrator on the panel of neutrals of the National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) where he served as a sole arbitrator and chair of arbitration panels hearing securities arbitration cases.  In the early 1990s, he became a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Commercial Panel of Arbitrators.  He continues to serve on the AAA’s Large, Complex Case Panel.

As an arbitrator, Mr. Levy has served on both domestic and international cases in a wide range of matters that have included strip mining activities, communications satellite transponder leases, hazardous substance claims, professional and business partnership and shareholder disputes, franchise agreements, retirement plan benefit claims and more.

In his mediation practice, Mr. Levy has helped resolve a broad spectrum of legal contests, including among them shareholder and partnership disputes, environmental contamination claims, breach of contract actions, wrongful arrest claims asserted against both private and municipal defendants, and numerous other cases.

In addition to being admitted to practice in the Courts of the State of New York, Mr. Levy is admitted to practice before the:

  • United State Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Tax Court
  • United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Mr. Levy’s alternative dispute resolution practice includes memberships with various ADR facilities, including:

  • American Arbitration Association roster of commercial arbitrators (currently listed on Large, Complex Commercial Case Panel)
  • Mediation Panel, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)
  • Mediation Panel, United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • Mediation Panel, United States District Court, Southern District of New York
  • Mediation Panel, Nassau County Supreme Court Commercial Division and ADR/Mediation Programs
  • Mediation Panel, Queens County Supreme Court Commercial Division Mediation Program
  • Mediation Panel, Suffolk County Supreme Court Commercial Division Mediation Program
  • Mediation Panel, United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York
  • Mediation and Arbitration Panel, Comprehensive Arbitration & Mediation Arbitration Services, Inc. (CAMS)

Mediation Philosophy: The willingness of parties to participate in a process intended to bring about an out-of-court resolution of their dispute implies a motivation to explore and consider alternatives to the traditional win-lose consequences of litigation.  In reality, the parties own their own conflict.  The mediator’s role, then, is to facilitate a parallel ownership of the conflict’s resolution.  Both sides may begin a discussion of their dispute with seemingly inflexible positions.  The mediator can assist in helping the parties discover and articulate their real underlying interests.  Once those interests are identified, articulated and understood, the process of finding win-win solutions to satisfying both sides’ interests can begin.  Success in this procedure is dependent upon the parties’ trust and confidence in the mediator’s complete neutrality.  Except by agreement of the parties otherwise, there should be no fixed time frame by which the mediation process is required to be concluded.  A goal of the mediator is to maintain positive momentum in order to avoid slipping back into old, hardened positions.  It is important for the parties to conclude their agreement with a feeling that there have been give and take accommodations to both sides’ interests in a mutually respectful and constructive environment.

Arbitration Philosophy: As in the mediation setting, the parties own their own conflict.  The arbitrator should be knowledgeable on both substance and procedure in handling the dispute, and should manifest a demeanor which gives the parties confidence that they and their legal counsel will be treated with the fairness and courtesy they deserve.  Lack of attention by the arbitrator, rudeness to participants or decisions made solely for expediency have no place in the process. The arbitrator should remain mindful throughout the case that the parties have chosen to resolve their dispute through the arbitration method rather than by traditional litigation in court because they want to resolve their disagreement speedily, cost-effectively and in an even-handed atmosphere.  At the conclusion of the case, and regardless of the outcome, both parties should feel that they were afforded a full and fair opportunity to have their case heard by an unbiased and impartial adjudicator.

Personal: Mr. Levy grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut.  Prior to attending Boston University School of Law, he graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Psychology.  After his post-juris doctor studies in taxation at New York University School of Law, he was an associate in the corporate practice of Kronish, Lieb, Weiner & Hellman, LLP in New York City before moving to Madison Avenue to establish his own corporate and commercial practice.  He subsequently moved his offices to Long Island where he continues in the active practice of law as a partner in the law firm of Kurre Levy Schneps LLP (KLSLLP.com).  He is the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Commercial and Transactional practices.  With his substantial and broad experience in litigation, Mr. Levy has become a committed advocate of mediation as the most efficient and cost-effective means of resolving even the thorniest of legal disputes.  As he so often tells parties in conflict, “If you can persuade parties with even the most legitimate of legal claims to seriously consider the mediation process, you’re halfway home to a resolution without a court battle.  Reality testing (i.e., taking serious account of the financial and psychological costs of a legal fight) goes a long way towards finding a better way out of a problem than having one imposed on you.”