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The Dispute Resolution Section Fall Meeting will take place virtually on October 22 & 23. Click on the Events Calendar to register today!

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Celebrating 10 Years

Section status recognizes the critical importance of negotiation, collaboration, mediation, neutral evaluation, arbitration and new and hybrid forms of dispute resolution in all areas of legal practice. The Section is a forum for improving these processes and the understanding of dispute resolution alternatives, for enhancing the proficiency of practitioners and neutrals and increasing the knowledge and availability of party-selected solutions.

The Section will serve this mission by:

  • Creating committees to explore and research developments in ethics, substantive law, and legislative initiatives relating to our shared interests
  • Sponsoring publication of analysis and opinion on dispute resolution processes
  • Providing continuing legal education and training to practitioners and neutrals
  • Promoting relevant legislation
  • Providing commentary on ethical issues affecting dispute resolution
  • Providing a venue for practitioners, law school faculty and students, and dispute resolution providers to network, exchange ideas, and to interact with other members of the Bar and to the public on issues relating to dispute resolution.

Meet the Chair

Theodore Cheng is chair of the Dispute Resolution Section.

Cheng is an independent, full-time mediator and arbitrator, focusing on commercial, intellectual property, entertainment, technology, and labor/employment disputes. He is a member of Resolute Systems’ Employment and Commercial panels of arbitrators and mediators, the Commercial and Large, Complex Case mediation and arbitration rosters of the American Arbitration Association, the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR Institute, a FINRA arbitrator, and an arbitrator and mediator for several federal and state courts. He was also appointed to the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center’s List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals.

He graduated cum laude from Harvard University and earned his law degree from New York University School of Law.

Contact the Dispute Resolution Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Catherine Carl
(518) 487-5679

Online Community

New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer


New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer

The New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer features peer-written substantive articles relating to the practice of dispute resolution on various topics including arbitration, mediation, and collaborative law. Also included are updates on case law and legislation, as well as Section activities. Edited by Edna Sussman, Esq., Laura A. Kaster, Esq. and Sherman Kahn, Esq. the New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer is published by the Dispute Resolution Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.

The New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer is published as a benefit for members of the Dispute Resolution Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association. The copying, reselling, duplication, transferring, reproducing, reusing, retaining or reprinting of this publication is strictly prohibited without permission.
© New York State Bar Association. All rights reserved.  ISSN 1945-6522 (print)     ISSN 1945-6530 (online)

The New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer encourages article submissions on topics of interest to members of the Section. Writing an article for a NYSBA Section publication is a great way to get your name out in the legal community and advertise your knowledge. Our authors are respected state-wide for their legal expertise in such areas as arbitration, mediation, and collaborative law.

MCLE credit may also be earned for legal-based writing directed to an attorney audience upon application to the CLE Board. NYSBA Guidelines for Obtaining MCLE Credit for Writing as well as a Publication Credit Application are available.

If you have written an article and would like to have it considered for publication in the New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer , please send it in electronic document format (pdfs are NOT acceptable), along with biographical information to one of its Co-Editors:

Edna Sussman, Esq.

Laura Kaster


From Our Spring 2020 Issue:  English Arbitration and Mediation in the Long Eighteenth Century


Letter to COSAC on Proposed Amendments to Rule 8.3
September 2019: This letter provides the Section’s recommendations regarding certain amendments proposed by the NYSBA Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) to Rule 8.3 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. In particular, we recommend that the commentary expressly state that the rule does not affect the obligation of a mediator to maintain the confidentiality of mediation proceedings.

Letter to NYS Courts re: Presumptive ADR Initiative
August 2019: This letter offers the Executive Committee’s considered suggestions and recommendations regarding the New York State Unified Court Systems’ Presumptive ADR Initiative, which was announced on May 14, 2019 by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks. The letter was limited to the implementation of presumptive mediation, and among the subjects we addressed are the need for competent, well trained mediators; informing parties about mediation and other relevant court-annexed mediation programs; the need to ensure that mediators are properly compensated; selection of court-appointed mediators; and collection of data on program outcomes.

Letter to COSAC on Proposed Amendments to Rules 2.4 and 7.2
July 2019: This letter provides the Section’s recommendations regarding certain amendments proposed by the NYSBA Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) to Rules 2.4 and 7.2 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. In particular, we recommend clarifications to the respective commentaries in light of the operation of the mediation privilege and the designation of arbitrators and mediators as experienced in the ADR field by organizations such as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution, and the International Mediation Institute.

Report on Pre-Dispute Arbitration of Employment Claims
June 2019: This report describes the characteristics of employment arbitration and the relevant legislation and resolutions, discusses both the advantages and disadvantages of arbitrating employment claims relative to court litigation, and considers ways to resolve or mitigate the concerns that have been raised.

New York Law in International Matters
The increasingly global business community requires accurate and comprehensive information on choice of laws, procedures and legal systems to govern agreements, selection of the best forum in which to resolve their disputes, and the most efficient and equitable means of that dispute resolution. New York, as a global financial and commercial capital, plays a critical role in all these choices.

Report on the Dodd-Frank Act
April 2011, The Section approved comments to be submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with respect to the study of arbitration mandated by the Dodd Frank Act. The Section takes no position as to the appropriate treatment of consumer disputes, but strongly supports a thorough examination of dispute resolution processes to ensure that they are in the public interest and fair to consumers. The Section’s comments identify issues that it is urged should be considered by the Bureau in its study.

Report on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act
January 2011: The Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) submits this Report on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act and Uniform Collaborative Law Rules (referred to herein collectively as the “UCLA”) promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (“NCCUSL”) for the purpose of standardizing for those states choosing to adopt it the form of dispute resolution known as Collaborative Law.

Through the Eyes of New York Litigators
The Mediation Committee of the State Bar Dispute Resolution Section and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the New York City Bar surveyed New York civil itigators to explore their views on mediation.

Guidelines for the Arbitrator’s Conduct of the Pre-Hearing Phase of International Arbitrations

November 2010: International Arbitration is a substantial practice in New York. Many international contracts provide for applicability of New York law, and such contracts often specify New York as a venue for international arbitration. However, there has been concern in recent years that the choice of New York as the site of an international arbitration might prompt the arbitral tribunal to depart from normal international practice by imposing American style discovery on the parties. It is the view of the international arbitration bar in New York that these concerns are not justified.

Final Report on Mediator Quality 
May 2010: This report examines the issue of mediator quality/credentialing and makes recommendations for specific action steps for adoption by the Section.

Report on the Arbitration Fairness Act 
April 2009: The Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association (“the DR Section”) urges Congress to carefully review arbitration bills introduced in Congress to ensure that they do not interfere with general commercial arbitration. This most particularly applies in the international context where arbitration is often the only practicable choice for dispute resolution.

Report on Arbitration Discovery in Domestic Commercial Cases 
April 2009: As discovery proceedings have exploded in civil actions in the United States, there has been a trend to inject into arbitration expensive elements that had traditionally been reserved for litigation — interrogatories; requests to admit; dispositive motions; lengthy depositions; and massive requests for documents, including electronic data. This has particularly been the case as the use of arbitration has grown for the largest, most complex commercial cases.


Dispute Resolution Section Diversity Scholarships

What are DRS Diversity Scholarships?

In 2020, the Dispute Resolution Section of the NY State Bar Association (“DRS”) will award a maximum of 5 mediation training scholarships and 5 arbitration training scholarships each year, to encourage greater opportunities for minorities and women in the field of dispute resolution.

Who is Eligible for the Scholarships?

Anyone admitted to the bar in New York may apply for the scholarships, although preference will be given to minority and female applicants.

Mentorship Program

Diversity Mentorship Program

The NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section Diversity Committee (the “Diversity Committee”) encourages, fosters and supports the development of diverse talent and inclusion in all types of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, mini trials, etc. both as neutrals and as representatives of parties in the processes. Diversity of those participating in the dispute resolution process enables the presentation of many views and provides a greater perspective on how and in what way to use dispute resolution to resolve problems, leading to more options and fairer results. Encouraging a diverse and inclusive environment also promotes respect and fosters treating individuals of diverse backgrounds fairly.

As part of the foregoing mission, the Diversity Committee, chaired by Noah Hanft and Iyana Titus, initiated the Mentorship Program to provide mentorship, training, encouragement, and opportunities to attorneys who have been historically under-represented in the field of alternative dispute resolution. The goal of the Mentorship Program is to increase diversity in the alternative dispute resolution community by providing such attorneys with training, support, and connections to assist them in becoming active participants in the area of alternative dispute resolution. Through the Mentorship Program, mentees work with or “shadow” their mentors to gain first-hand experience and training in alternative dispute resolution, attend seminars on alternative dispute resolution, and network with other professionals in the alternative dispute resolution community. The Mentorship Program duration is one (1) year.


1. Be a member of a diverse group;
2. Licensed attorney;
3. Experience or Demonstrated Interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution: court annexed programs such as SDNY mediation, Attorney Client Fee program, or with a community mediation program such as Peace Horizons;
4. Membership in NYSBA (non-members must apply for membership within 30 days of approval to the Mentorship Program).

Student Writing Competition (Submission Deadline: June 1, 2020)

The purpose of this competition is to heighten interest in, and competence related to, student writing on the subject of Alternate Dispute Resolution. Aside from the $10,000 cash grand prize, and $1,000 prize for best NY paper, winning entries may be published in NYSBA’s New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer publication and/or the American Journal of Mediation. Papers initially prepared for class, journals, etc. are eligible for submission.



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