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Mediation Settlement Day

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
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 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.

Honorary Chair
This year's Honorary Chair was Gerald P. Lepp, retired ADR Administrator for the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. He is also an Alternative Dispute Resolution Consultant Designer of dispute resolution systems, trainer of dispute resolution techniques, lecturer and practicing attorney, experienced arbitrator, and mediator.

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 Kenneth R. Feinberg (2013), Director of the One Boston Fund 2013, and founder and Managing Partner at Feinberg, Rozen, LLP,and The Honorable Sol Wachtler, Professor at Touro Law School (2014).

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 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.

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.
This year's award recipient was Gerald P. Lepp, retired ADR Administrator for the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.

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), Commisioner Timothy Germany, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (2013), and Kenneth Andrichik, Senior Vice President, Chief Counsel, and Director of Medition Strategy, FINRA Dispute Resolution (2014),


The Unified Court System, in collaboration with FINRA Dispute Resolution, hosted its annual Mediation Settlement Day Kickoff event on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at the New York Law School. The program began with an open house of networking and learning opportunities on how to become a mediator, followed by a panel discussion on Mediation in the State and Federal Courts and the keynote address.




(L-R) Robyn Weinstein, ADR Administrator, U.S. District Court, EDNY, Dan Weitz, Esq., ADR Coordinator for the NYS Unified Court System; and the Honorary Chair and Frontline Champion Award recipient Gerald P. Lepp,Esq., retired ADR Administrator for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, and Rebecca Price,Esq., Director, ADR Program, U.S. District Court, SDNY. Not pictured were Kevin Egan, Esq., Senior Settlement Coordinator, Supreme Court, NY County, and Simone Abrams, Esq., ADR Coordinator, Supreme Court, NY County, Commercial Division.


Proclamations by Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio