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How to Maintain a Successful ADR Practice in the Age of COVID…and Beyond

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Join NYCLA's ADR Committee for PART 2 of its discussion on the Business of an ADR Practice -- Maintaining an ADR Practice.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • How Has COVID Changed ADR Practice
  • Cybersecurity Best Practices and Insurance Considerations in the Age of COVID
  • Running an ADR Practice: Solo or Partnership; Are 2 Better than 1?
  • Retainers, Invoicing, Payment Plans, Dealing with Accounts Receivable
  • Never Stop Learning as we Move Toward the Future
  • Evolving as a Professional in the Age of COVID: Broadening Your Niche Practice Area; Retooling; Spotting Trends
  • ... AND MORE!!!!!

Lecturer Bios

Joseph J. Bambara, Esq.

Joseph J. Bambara is currently In House Counsel and a VP of technology architecture at UCNY, Inc. His e-mail address is For the last 15 years, he has been acting as Counsel for small to mid-size technology firms in the metro area. Most recently, he has worked on cloud computing, social networking, mobile media and outsourcing contracts. He has done work with intellectual property especially as it pertains to mobile and enterprise software, SMS mobile marketing issues as well as trade/service marks. In addition to presentations at Lawline, he has done CLE’s on law and technology for New York County, the New York City Bar Association and National Constitution Center. Prior entrepreneurial career includes developing applications for the financial, brokerage, manufacturing, medical, and entertainment industries on the mobile and enterprise platforms.

Mr. Bambara has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Computer Science. He holds a Juris Doctorate in Law and is admitted to the New York State Bar. He has taught various computer courses for CCNY's School of Engineering. He is member of the New York County Lawyers Association Cyberspace Committee and an active member in the International Technology Law Association. He has authored the following books: Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Study Guide (Exam 310-051) (McGraw-Hill, 2007), J2EE Unleashed (SAMS 2001), PowerBuilder: A Guide To Developing Client/Server Applications (McGraw-Hill, 1995), Informix: Client/Server Application Development (McGraw-Hill, 1997), Informix: Universal Data Option (McGraw-Hill, 1998), SQL Server Developer's Guide (IDG, 2000). He has taught numerous courses and given many presentations on all aspects of the law and enterprise and mobile development in cities worldwide, including Los Angeles, Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Orlando, Nashville, New York, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm.

Jess Bunshaft, Esq.

Jess Bunshaft is one of the principals of the Synergist Mediation, bringing years of mediation experience to the practice. Added to this is his experience as a trial lawyer, trying major cases in tort & civil rights matters in both state and federal courts.

Jess also has worked as a hospital & healthcare system vice president, executive vice president of one of the largest not-for-profit organizations in New York, and, most importantly, as a professional mediator and neutral, trained, experienced and highly skilled in the practice of mediation.

Recognized for his skill in mediation, Jess:

  • Created and led in-house employee relations mediation programs, resolving hundreds of employee-management disputes for over 14 years
  • Has extensive experience in employment law, tort actions, civil rights matters, business management and commercial litigation
  • Has worked as an employee advocate
  • Served in the management of hospital/healthcare organizations throughout the New York metro area
  • Has led programs in mediator training programs
  • Co-chairs the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA)
  • Has taught law students studying mediation, most recently serving as mediator for the mediation advocacy program at the St. John’s University School of Law and for the ABA mediation advocacy competition at Cardozo Law School
  • Co-chaired the 2019 NYSBA/NCBA Advanced Commercial Mediator Training program
  • Jess also is a mediator and arbitrator for Part 137 fee dispute arbitrations, including chairing panel arbitrations, in New York and Bronx counties and is an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Marilyn Genoa, Esq.

Marilyn K. Genoa is a principal of Synergist Mediation, as well as a principal in the law firm of Genoa & Associates, P.C., where she concentrates in the areas of real estate, municipal law, and closely-held and family-owned business representation.

The elected Village Justice for the Village of Old Brookville, Marilyn is the immediate Past President of the Nassau County Magistrates Association. Prior to being elected Village Justice, she was an elected Trustee of the Village and the Deputy Police Commissioner for the Old Brookville Police Department.

Marilyn has over 30 years of experience representing real estate partnerships; condominium and cooperative associations; shopping centers; entrepreneurs; closely held corporations (including physician partnerships, restaurants, manufacturers, retail and wholesale establishments) in matters relating to initial start-up analysis, contracts and agreements, shareholder and operating agreements; buy/sell agreements; commercial and residential purchase/sale; contract disputes; commercial landlord and tenant matters; business divorce; environmental issues; zoning and variance matters; commercial litigation, including drafting and arguing appeals in the New York State Appellate Divisions and Court of Appeals.

As a neutral, Marilyn has mediated matters in the areas of business/commercial and real estate including: business divorces; breach of contract cases; breach and dissolutions of partnerships, limited liability and shareholder agreements; breach of fiduciary duty; fraud; employment disputes; condominium and cooperative association/homeowner association disputes; post-closing contract disputes; landlord/tenant disputes; zoning issues; and real estate partnership disputes.

She is a member of the Commercial Mediation Panel, Nassau County Commercial Division, the Nassau County Bar Association’s Mediation and Arbitration Panels, and was appointed to the maiden Eastern District of New York Storm Sandy Mediation Panel. She serves as an Arbitrator under the New York State’s Part 137 Attorney’s Fee Dispute Resolution Program and a Mediator for Landlord-Tenant disputes in District Court, Nassau County.

Marilyn has received extensive training in Mediation over the past eighteen years, and is a frequent lecturer in the areas of: mediation; real estate; purchase and sale of businesses and of real property; and contract law. Well regarded for her fairness, diligence and efficiency, with thirty years of experience representing clients in the areas of real estate and corporate matters, and as the former CEO of a national manufacturing and distribution company, Marilyn’s pragmatic approach to problem solving has helped resolve difficult and complex cases.

Theodore Cheng

Theo Cheng is an independent, full-time mediator and arbitrator, focusing on commercial, intellectual property, entertainment, technology, and 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 American Intellectual Property Law Association’s List of Arbitrators and Mediators and the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center’s List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals. He was inducted into the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals in 2019.

Theo has conducted over 500 arbitrations and mediations involving commercial and business disputes, breach of contract and negligence actions, trade secret theft, employment discrimination claims, wage-and-hour disputes, and intellectual property infringement contentions. The New Jersey State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section presented Theo with the 2020 James B. Boskey ADR Practitioner of the Year Award, and The National Law Journal named him a 2017 ADR Champion.

Gregory Cooke

Greg Cooke is the Senior Lawyer’s Professional Liability Advisor for USI Affinity. He is responsible for working with firm’s on changing (or obtaining) their Professional Liability Coverage.

Greg has 7 years of experience in the insurance industry, specifically handling Professional Liability Insurance. Prior to joining USI Affinity, Greg spent over 5 years with Aon in a variety of different roles within Errors & Omissions Insurance. He handled both Lawyers and Insurance Agents, in both the admitted and non-admitted segments. Greg currently specializes in Lawyers Malpractice Insurance, as he has vast knowledge in handling many different law firms’ insurance needs.

Greg has both his Property and Casualty Insurance License and his Life & Health Insurance License in Pennsylvania and many non-resident Producer Licenses in a variety of other states. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management.

Jennifer Lupo, Esq.

Jennifer Lupo is the Managing Member of Lupo Law, Arbitration and Mediation PLLC with offices in Manhattan and Garden City. Ms. Lupo has had a diverse legal career in government, law firms, corporate legal departments, as a law professor and as a dispute resolution neutral. Lupo Law acts as outside general counsel to several companies assisting its' clients in formulating strong, cohesive business strategies. Its' attorneys provide advice in the areas of: corporate formation; financing; tax; core contracts, intellectual property & brand protection; operations; human resources & employee relations; vendor and investor relations; transactions (M & A); crisis management and dispute resolution. Representative industries include: FinTech, Information Technology, E & V - Commerce, EnergyTech, Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising, Video Production, Hospitality, and Borrowed Personnel.

As a dispute resolution neutral, Ms. Lupo is a mediator and arbitrator with areas of expertise in: Complex Commercial (IT/IP, Trade Secrets, Investment, and Insurance); Corporate and Business (e.g. Shareholder Derivative Claims, Business Divorce); Family and Divorce; Municipal (NYC/NYS); Civil Rights (e.g. Title VII; NYC/NYS HR; §1983, NYPD, NYFD, NYC and NYS DOE, NYS and NYC DOH; ADA, ADEA; Age; Pregnancy); and Labor and Employment (e.g. CBA's (entertainment); FLSA). Ms. Lupo sits on several state and federal court mediation panels and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel. At present, she is on-boarding with the American Arbitration Association as both an arbitrator and mediator.

In 2018, Ms. Lupo won the prestigious Higgonbotham Fellowship ("Fellowship") of the American Arbitration Association. Through the Fellowship application process, AAA identifies women and diverse persons who possess certain traits (e.g. academic, professional, vocational, experiential) worthy of cultivation for inclusion in the field of ADR neutral(s). Fellows ADR education and skill building are then cultivated through participation in the fellowship program. During the 2017-18 academic year, Ms. Lupo is the Judith S. Kaye fellow of the Historical Society of the New York Courts and is teaching a course entitled "An Introduction to Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law and History" to eight graders at the George Jackson Academy, a private, independent all-boys school in Manhattan educating academically exceptional boys. Ms. Lupo is the co-chair of the ADR in the Courts committee of the NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section and a member of the section's executive committee; a founding member of the ADR Inclusion Network; a member of the NYCBAR ADR and Career and Management Committees; a member of the NYSBA Labor and Employment and Sports and Entertainment Law Sections; and the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section. Ms. Lupo is a frequently panelist on issues in ADR. Ms. Lupo volunteers her time to the NYCBAR Monday Night Law project, a law clinic for persons of modest means.

ADR Training
Mediation 8 Hours (May 2018; American Arbitration Association); Mediation Ethics 3 Hours (May 2018; American Arbitration Association); Arbitration 8 Hours (May 2018; American Arbitration Association); Arbitration Ethics 3 Hours (May 2018; American Arbitration Association); Writing Defensible Awards in Arbitration 3 Hours (May 2018; American Arbitration Association);Commercial Arbitration 40 Hours (June 2017; NYSBA); FINRA Arbitration Training (December 2016; FINRA); Advanced Family Mediation Training 40 Hours (June 2016; Center for Mediation and Training); Family Mediation Training 40 Hours (January 2016; Center for Mediation and Training); Advanced Commercial Mediation Training 40 Hours (June 2015; NYCBAR); Advanced Collaborative Mediation Training 40 Hours (April 2010; Center for Mediation and Training); Collaborative Mediation Training 40 Hours (January 2010; Center for Mediation and Training); Advanced Commercial Mediation Training 40 Hours (June 2009; NYCBAR); Facilitative Mediation Training 40 Hours (May 2009; Center for Mediation and Training); Advanced Commercial Mediation Certification 40 Hours (March 2008; NYSBA); Advanced Commercial Mediation Training 40 Hours (April 2006; NYS Judicial Institute); Basic Commercial Mediation Training 40 Hours (July 2005; NYSBA)

Professional Training
J.D. Touro Law School With Honors (Dean's List) ; M.A. SUNY Stony Brook; A.B. Bard College (Film)

Charles M. Newman, Esq.

Admitted to practice in 1974, Mr. Newman has had his own law firm in Manhattan and has been "Of Counsel" to other highly qualified firms, since 1985. More recently, he has also turned some of his skills and approaches to an Alternative Dispute Resolution practice focusing on mediation and arbitration. Much (but not all) of his work is in the fields of commercial and real estate litigation; business transactions; divorce and family law; alternative dispute resolution; and information technology.

Mr. Newman began as a lawyer at the highly regarded Manhattan firm Fink Weinberger P.C. He started as an Associate in 1973, became a Partner in 1980, and left in 1985 to start his own firm. In addition to handling a full case load at the firm, he administered the litigation department and oversaw the research department and library. With the enactment of sweeping divorce law changes in 1980, his litigation skills also served divorce clients well. He has handled both business and divorce litigation ever since.

Long before desktop computers, Mr. Newman created and implemented systems to track deadlines and obligations and to maintain dockets and files. He developed methods to provide lawyers in each department with timely updates on changes in their areas of expertise. He was an early adopter and trainer of computerized legal and other research, many years before the World Wide Web.

In 2000 and 2001, Mr. Newman was Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Metaserver, Inc., in New Haven. As a member of the senior management team and general counsel of a business process integration (Internet middleware) software and services company, Metaserver leveraged technology first conceived at Yale University. (Mr. Newman maintained a reduced New York City law practice while employed at Metaserver.)

As a mediator, Mr. Newman is a member of the Panel of Neutrals for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program of the New York State Supreme Court, New York County, Commercial Division. Manhattan’s Commercial Division is one of the most respected business courts in the country. Some of his other memberships are listed below. Mr. Newman has been an arbitrator for the New York City Civil Court in Manhattan for many years. As an educator, Mr. Newman taught at Cardozo Law School in 1980-1981.

Mr. Newman participates as a Competition Judge and Trainer for a variety of professional education programs. He has serve as facilitator or coach at various continuing legal education programs on mediation, including advanced trainings. He has been a volunteer judge of various law school and graduate school negotiation and dispute resolution competitions and examinations. The institutions include Cardozo School of Law, Fordham Law School, St. John’s School of Law, the New York University graduate program, New York State Bar Association, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (the New York City Bar) and the Commercial Division of New York State Supreme Court, New York County.

Mr. Newman has volunteered for numerous organizations, ranging from being president of his residential coop to mediating at the Staten Island Community Dispute Resolution Center, the New York Center for Interpersonal Development; from being an officer of his kids’ PTA’s to managing youth sports teams.

Michael Starr, Esq.

Michael Starr provides private mediation and other ADR services for employment and commercial disputes and is also on the National Roster of Neutrals for the American Arbitration Ass'n for both mediation and arbitration of employment and commercial disputes.

Michael has 25 years’ experience as court-appointed mediator or early neutral evaluator in the federal and state courts in New York City.

Michael’s approach to mediation is that there no such thing as a good or bad settlement -- only better or worse than the alternative. The focus of any mediation must always be on forward-looking workable solutions to the parties’ dispute. This philosophy is shaped by Michael’s experience in labor relation and mediation in the context of collective-bargaining negotiations.

Michael seeks to create an atmosphere conducive to the resolution of disputes by being respectful, patient, calm and persistent; helping each side effectively, but cooperatively communicate its rationale for settlement and range of acceptable outcomes.

Ultimately, Michael’s goal is to earn the trust of the parties as to what negotiation strategies are most likely to achieve acceptable responses from the other party and as to what is realistically achievable from the other party at that particular moment in time. He takes seriously that the role of the mediator is to facilitate the parties’ own resolution of their dispute.

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