New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Mediation Settlement Day

Mediation Settlement Day Annual Kick-Off Event October 18, 2017

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 benefited 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 -Wednesday, October 18, 2017
A lively Kick-Off Event is held 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.

Save the date for this year's Kick-Off Event, which will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the New York Law School, located at 185 West Broadway, NY, NY. Festivities begin at 4:30PM and conclude at 7:30PM. FREE CLE CREDITS will be awarded for a portion of the evening's program.

Summary of Kick-Off Event Activities and Start Times:

Open House: 4:30PM
Panel Discussion: 5:30PM (free 1.5 CLE)
Frontline Champion Award Presentation: 6:45PM
Key Note Address: 7:00PM

Honorary Chair
We are pleased to announce that this year’s Honorary Chair is John S. Kiernan.

Past Honorary Chairs
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 Director of the One Boston Fund 2013, Founder and Managing Partner at Feinberg, Rozen, LLP, Kenneth Feinberg (2013), The Honorable Sol Wachtler (2014), retired ADR Administrator for the United States District Court, Eastern District of N.Y., Gerald P. Lepp (2015), and Judge Eizabeth S. Stong, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York (2016).

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 but is recommmended.

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. Please review 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:

  • A shared table at the Kick-Off Event Open House to showcase the organization's program.
  • 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.

To become a sponsor, use the on-line registration form

How Can My Organization Submit an Event for Mediation Settlement Day?
Sponsors may wish to host an event to commemorate Mediation Settlement Day.  

Use the on-line event submission form so we can publicize your organization’s event for this year.

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. 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), Timothy Germany, FMCS Commissioner (2013), and Senior Vice President, Chief Counsel, Director of Mediation Strategy, FINRA Dispute Resolution, Kenneth Andrichik (2014), retired ADR Administrator for the United States District Court, Eastern District of N.Y., Gerald P. Lepp (2015), and Judge Kathleen Roberts (Ret.), JAMS (2016).

This Year's Frontline Champion Award Recipient
Mr. Johnston Barkat is the Assistant Secretary-General heading the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services. In this role, he serves as an independent senior advisor reporting directly to the Secretary-General. Mr. Barkat oversees offices in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Bangkok, Santiago, Entebbe and Goma. With over 20 years of experience in mediation and conflict resolution, Mr. Barkat is an internationally recognized expert in the field of mediation, dispute resolution and preventive diplomacy.

back to top