Mediation is a process where a neutral third party (the mediator), who has no stake in the outcome, works together with parties in conflict to aide them in reaching a voluntary agreement fashioned by the parties to resolve their differences on terms that both parties are willing to accept.
In litigation, mediation can be court ordered or may be voluntarily initiated by the parties either before or after the commencement of litigation. Most courts that have mandatory mediation programs have adopted formal court rules and procedures that outline the manner in which the mediation process must be conducted. In contrast to court-ordered mediation, voluntary pre-suit or post-suit mediation allows the parties and their counsel to enjoy more flexibility in controlling the mediation process to suit their needs.
Although there are a number of styles of mediation, Mike generally employs the facilitative, non-evaluative model. The mediator does not judge nor evaluate the relative strength of the respective parties’ legal case, but instead seeks to create a process designed to “facilitate” agreement between the disputants. Using joint sessions and confidential ex parte caucuses, the mediator assists each party in identifying both the beneficial interests in achieving agreement versus the adverse consequences of pursuing a costly, high risk litigation strategy through trial and possible appeal.
Mike will entertain all types of disputes with the exception of matrimonial and family disputes. His preferred subject areas include:
Labor and Employment: FLSA; Title VII; ADEA; ADA; FMLA, ERISA, whistleblower actions; Section 1983 cases involving public employees (procedural and substantive due process, equal protection, and first amendment claims); sexual and workplace harassment, duty of fair representation (public and private sector); management-labor grievances; disciplinary matters, contract negotiations impasse; related state employment and labor laws; employment agreements; and restrictive covenants not to compete.
Commercial and Other Areas: Partnership dissolutions; close corporation dissolutions; partition actions; division of assets; zoning and land use disputes involving municipal governments including Section 1983 substantive due process claims; RLUIPA; SEQRA; municipal bids and contracts, commercial contracts; construction contracts; consumer contracts, collections; fraudulent conveyances; general contractor and sub-contractor disputes; residential and commercial real estate; defamation, libel and slander; first amendment; voting rights, and other constitutionally protected rights.