Founding Advisors

The following people contributed to the development of the Kheel Center.

Formal Advisors

Robert J. Kheel
Robert Kheel Law

After more than 40 years with Willkie Farr & Gallagher in which he focused his attention on dispute resolution, including litigation, mediation and arbitration, Mr. Kheel is continuing to practice in those areas, but now primarily as a mediator and arbitrator. In addition, however, Mr. Kheel is also continuing his commercial practice in which he gained considerable experience while at the firm. That breadth of experience, on a wide variety of commercial matters, makes him particularly effective in helping parties reach a negotiated resolution where one is indicated or navigate through arbitration or litigation where it is not.


Academic Advisors

Richard L. Ottinger
Dean Emeritus, Pace University School of Law

Richard Ottinger is Dean Emeritus at Pace Law School, Co-director for Pace’s  Center for Environmental Legal Studies, and Founder and Faculty Supervisor of the  Energy and Climate Center. Dean Ottinger came to Pace Law School when he retired from Congress in 1984. As a professor he taught in the environmental law program (1984-94). He served as Dean (1994-99). While Dean he had constructed a new modern classroom building which was dedicated as Richard Ottinger Hall in 2013. He also was responsible for bringing to Pace the NY State Judicial Institute. As co-director of the Pace Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies, he founded the Pace Energy & Climate Center, which raises more than $1 million dollars per year, advocating for promotion of clean energy resources. In his 16 years as a member of the United States House of Representatives, he authored a substantial body of energy and environmental laws. He was one of the earliest environmentalists in Congress in 1965. As chairman of the Energy Conservation and Power Subcommittee, Energy & Commerce Committee, he was instrumental in adopting key energy and environmental legislation. Dean Ottinger was a founding staff member of the Peace Corps, serving it during 1961-1964. Currently, Dean Ottinger serves as Dean Emeritus, continuing to advise J.D., LL.M and SJD students and involve them in national and international environmental an energy efficiency and renewable energy research and presentations.

Eric Schmertz
Of Counsel, Dweck Law Firm, LLP

Eric J. Schmertz is of counsel to the Dweck Law Firm LLP in New York City and a Practitioner-in-Residence at Pace Law School.  Schmertz is former dean of Hofstra University School of Law (1982-1998, retired), where he was named to that school’s first endowed professorship, the Edward F. Carlough Distinguished Professorship of Labor Law. He has also had a long and distinguished career in public service, serving such notables as President George H.W. Bush, New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and New York City Mayor David Dinkins in a variety of high-level positions related to labor relations. As of 2007, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has named Schmertz as one of the three members of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board, subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate, (a per diem appointment).  Schmertz holds memberships in the Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association, and the New York State and American Bar associations. He has been a recipient of the American Arbitration Association’s J. Noble Braden Award, the Whitney North Seymour Sr. Arbitration Medal, and the Alexander Hamilton Law Citation.

Jill I. Gross
Professor of Law, Pace University School of Law

Professor Jill I. Gross has been a director of the Investor Rights Clinic (formerly the Securities Arbitration Clinic) since 1999. Professor Gross teaches the Investor Rights Clinic and Seminar, Mediation and Arbitration, Professional Responsibility, and Securities Litigation and Enforcement. She has published numerous law review articles in the area of dispute resolution and investor justice, and has been quoted in the national media on issues relating to securities arbitration. Professor Gross previously taught as an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School (Arbitration Law) and at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Legal Writing). She is an arbitrator for FINRA Dispute Resolution and the National Futures Association, and is a former Chair of the Practising Law Institute’s annual Securities Arbitration continuing legal education program. She was a public member of the FINRA National Arbitration and Mediation Committee. Before entering legal education, Professor Gross was an attorney in the New York City firms of Kaye Scholer LLP, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Silberberg, and Parcher Hayes & Snyder, representing clients in white collar criminal and securities enforcement proceedings, securities arbitrations, and other commercial litigation.


Co-Chairs of Substantive Advisory Group

Rachel E. Deming
Barry University - Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law

Professor Rachel E. Deming is an Assistant Professor of Law and director of the Environmental and Earth Law Clinic. She also teaches a seminar course on environmental dispute resolution. Professor Deming joined the Barry faculty in the fall of 2013. Before coming to Barry Law, she was co-director of the International Transactions Clinic and a professor from practice at the University of Michigan. She also taught environmental dispute resolution at Pace University School of Law.

Prior to joining academia, Professor Deming practiced law in New York for more than 25 years. She began her career as an associate at a large New York law firm working on international banking issues and cross-border mergers and acquisition litigation. She left to become in-house environmental counsel for a Swiss-based global manufacturing company, a position that led to an increasing range of managerial responsibilities and included advocacy on environmental concerns and corporate sustainable development. She negotiated several consent agreements involving cleanups of major Superfund sites and managed the resolution of high-profile tort claims against the company outside the courtroom. Recognizing the value of alternative dispute resolution, Professor Deming returned to private practice in 2007 and became a mediator. She has mediated many disputes in the state and federal courts in New York and New Jersey, most of which involved commercial or environmental matters.


Pamela R. Esterman
Partner, Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C.

Pamela has over 30 years of experience solving a wide range of environmental and land use problems, using a broad array of tools from litigation to alternative dispute resolution. She is an experienced mediator, having mediated over 200 cases in federal and state court. She serves as a court appointed mediator for the United States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts and the Supreme Court of New York, Commercial Division, as well as the District of New Jersey. Her experience at the firm includes litigating complex multi-party hazardous waste cases; obtaining permits and project approvals for commercial, industrial and municipal development projects; handling the environmental aspects of business and real estate transactions; and consulting on climate change planning.

Since 1997, Pamela has served as co-planning chair for the annual ALI-CLE Environmental Law Conference in Washington, D.C. She lectures extensively and has written numerous commentary articles and book chapters on various topics relating to environmental law, ethics and alternative dispute resolution.


Substantive Advisory Group

David C. Batson*
Senior ADR Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

David C. Batson, Esq. is the Senior ADR Specialist & ADR Counsel for U.S. EPA where he serves as a professional neutral, consultant on effective settlement practice and the use of ADR, trainer, and designer of dispute resolution programs. Mr. Batson has over 30 years of dispute resolution experience spanning all major environmental programs, including 22 years as an ADR professional with a specialty in enforcement, hazardous waste, and site/facility related disputes, and service as Senior Counsel for the Office of Enforcement. An experienced mediator and meeting facilitator, Mr. Batson has provided ADR services in over 300 matters involving from 2 to 1200 parties. He has authored numerous publications, including guidance for federal agencies on mediation practice and confidentiality in the use of ADR. He has served as adjunct professor at Vermont Law School and Georgetown Law School and is a frequent speaker on the effective use of negotiation and ADR in environmental and public policy disputes.


Gail Bingham
President Emeritus, RESOLVE

Gail Bingham is President Emeritus of RESOLVE. She has mediated environmental, natural resources, community planning and public health issues on a full time basis since the late 1970s. She is a nationally recognized pioneer in promoting consensus-building tools in public decision making and is the 2006 winner of the Mary Parker Follett Award of the Association for Conflict Resolution, given “to an individual who has shown a passion and willingness to take risks, has used innovative and experimental techniques, and draws upon the talents and ideas of all persons…”. Under Gail’s leadership, RESOLVE is known for its ability to help parties produce results on the toughest issues, for enhancing the capacity and competence of others in dealing with conflict, and for intellectual leadership to advance current knowledge about the effective use of ADR and consensus-building processes to address complex public decisions.

Gail brings to the mediation process an in-depth understanding of: negotiation and consensus-building strategy, natural resources and other public policy issues, the dynamics of the policy making process, political and cultural differences in a wide variety of settings, and how to integrate complex, scientific and technical information into policy dialogues and negotiations. She works with leaders at the highest levels of government and the private sector, and has served as a mediator for a wide variety of federal, state, and local agencies and private parties on such diverse subjects as: watershed management and TMDL policy, wetlands, allocation of water rights, endangered species, drinking water regulations, funding infrastructure costs for water and wastewater utilities, groundwater protection, ocean and coastal management issues, hydro-electric relicensing, chemicals policy, solid waste source reduction, hazardous waste management, oil spill contingency plans, pesticides policy, children’s environmental health, and local community land use and infrastructure issues.

Christine A. Fazio
Partner, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP
Co-Director, Environmental Practice Group

Ms. Fazio practices environmental and land use law in CL&M’s Environmental Practice Group. She assists both public and private clients in completing environmental reviews under federal, state and local laws and obtaining all types of environmental and land use permits. With about ten years of prior experience with the Air Programs Branch of the Environmental Protection Agency, Ms. Fazio also advises clients on compliance with Clean Air Act regulations and complex air permitting. Ms. Fazio has represented the maritime sector on ballast water discharge issues and the energy sector on the siting of power plants, renewable sources, electric transmission lines and natural gas pipelines. Ms. Fazio’s practice also includes environmental litigation, including Article 78 of the CPLR proceedings for governmental actions. Ms. Fazio has worked on a number of mergers and acquisitions, completing the environmental due diligence, regulatory review and permit transfers, and assists corporations with compliance issues under a number of environmental laws. Ms. Fazio is an adjunct professor at Fordham University Law School, teaching Land Use Law.

Ridgway M. Hall, Jr.

Ridgway M. Hall, Jr. has been practicing environmental law for over 40 years. His work has included strategic counseling, litigation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution, compliance assurance, site remediation, commercial transactions and regulatory proceedings. He is Vice Chair of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, which has created a network of lawyers to handle cases on a pro bono basis relating to the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, its watershed and its natural resources. He also maintains a part-time legal practice.

Ridge graduated from Yale College, magna cum laude (1963) and Harvard Law School (1966), was an associate and then partner with Cummings & Lockwood in Stamford, Connecticut, then served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during 1975-77 as Associate General Counsel for Water. He was a founding partner of the law firm of Crowell & Moring where he started the firm’s environmental law practice. During his 31 years years at Crowell & Moring he was named one of the top lawyers in the environmental field by Best Lawyers In America, Chambers USA, Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers, and Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Environmental Lawyers. He has been listed in The International Who’s Who Legal for environmental law for many years.

William H. Hyatt, Jr.
Partner, K & L Gates LLP

Mr. Hyatt is a partner in the Newark, New Jersey office of K&L Gates, concentrating in environmental law and related litigation. He has extensive Superfund experience and has frequently acted as common or shared counsel representing groups of parties before the Environmental Protection Agency and counterpart state regulatory agencies, and in cost recovery and contribution litigation. In addition to taking leadership roles on behalf of private parties at many of the most significant Superfund sites, including four of the top six sites listed on the NPL, he was also selected as a pilot allocator in EPA’s Superfund administrative reforms and has acted as a special master and mediator.

He has negotiated landmark settlements with EPA and the Department of Justice and has mediated complex allocation disputes both as a special master and as a mediator. He practices in all the environmental media and has also specialized in products liability, building construction, environmental insurance coverage and toxic tort litigation.

Mr. Hyatt is included in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers to Business and Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Environmental Lawyers. He has also been listed for 20 years by Best Lawyers and was named 2013 Lawyer of the Year for Newark Litigation-Environmental Law.

Michael K. Lewis
Mediator, Arbitrator, Special Master, JAMS

Michael Lewis is Mediator, Arbitrator, and Special Master for JAMS.  For more than 30 years, Mr. Lewis has mediated, facilitated, and served as special master and discovery referee in a significant number of government-related cases involving contract, energy, environmental, land, natural resources, transportation, class actions, civil rights, and public policy issues.  A nationally recognized neutral, Mr. Lewis trains and lectures on the use of dispute resolution before Fortune 500 companies, leading law firms, private organizations, bar associations, and government agencies. Among the federal agencies and groups he has worked with are: U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, General Accounting Office, Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Communications Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and the Interagency ADR Working Group.  From his decades of experience, Mr. Lewis is familiar and knowledgeable about the issues private and governmental parties face in disputes involving local, state, or federal governments. He served on a panel that resolves complaints against Members of Congress and others under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995; is on the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution Roster and on a roster maintained to provide neutrals for environmental and public policy disputes primarily involving the U.S. EPA; and spent 3 years overseas as a Foreign Service Officer in Thailand.

Steven M. Morgan
Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Regulatory/Health, Environmental and Safety, Waste Management

Steven M. Morgan is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel – Regulatory/HSE with Waste Management, Inc.  Mr. Morgan joined Waste Management in 2000 and has overall responsibility for managing the legal affairs of the Company in all matters involving environmental, health, and safety law, including toxic tort litigation, Superfund and regulatory compliance.  He was formerly a Partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. where he represented clients in all areas of environmental law, including issues arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“Superfund”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and other state and federal environmental statutes.  Environmental litigation, toxic tort litigation, administrative enforcement actions, and environmental investigations, including due diligence, have comprised a majority of Mr. Morgan’s practice.  Mr. Morgan began his legal career at Aluminum Company of America. Thereafter, he joined Texas Instruments Incorporated in Dallas, Texas where he worked as Environmental and Safety Counsel until 1987.  After working as an attorney at the Dallas law firm of Arter, Hadden & Witts from 1987-1989, Mr. Morgan joined Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. and became a partner in 1991.  Mr. Morgan was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is admitted to the State Bars of Pennsylvania and Texas.  He received his B.A. cum laude in economics and political science from Northwestern University, and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was Associate Editor of The Journal of Transnational Law Mr. Morgan’s professional activities include memberships in the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association.  He is a member of ABA’s Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law where he is on the Special Committee on Environmental Litigation and the Energy and Natural Resources Litigation Committee.  Mr. Morgan served as Chairman of the Dallas Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section in 1993.  Mr. Morgan is also a member of the Houston Bar Association and serves on the Board of the Houston Chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association.  He has been active in a number of community activities throughout his career.  Mr. Morgan published “Achieving Finality in Environmental Litigation” in the November, 1999, issue of Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter.  Mr. Morgan is the co-author of “Perils of the Profession: Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine May Facilitate a Dramatic Increase in Criminal Prosecutions of Environmental Offenders,” Southwestern Law Journal, Vol. 45, No. 3, 1991.

Sean F. Nolon
Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

Professor Sean Nolon joined the VLS faculty in 2008. He teaches ADR, Negotiation, Environmental Dispute Resolution and the 1L Integration Initiative. He is also the director of the nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Program. Prior to joining Vermont Law School, he was the director of the Land Use Law Center and executive director of the Theodore W. Kheel Center on Environmental Solutions at Pace University School of Law. He has designed and taught courses on land use law, environmental law and dispute resolution at Vermont Law School, Pace Law School, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Pepperdine Law School, and Dartmouth College. He is also an experienced litigator, mediator and arbitrator specializing in public policy, environmental, and complex commercial disputes.

Professor Nolon's scholarship has been cited by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. He is the author and co-author of numerous publications including: LAND IN CONFLICT: MANAGING AND RESOLVING LAND USE DISPUTES (Lincoln Institute, 2013) with Ona Fergosun and Patrick Field; and ENVIRONMENTAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION (In: The Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Vol. 3: The Law and Politics of Sustainability, Berkshire Publishing) edited by Klaus Bosselmann, Daniel Fogel, and J. B. Ruhl. His articles have been published in the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Idaho Law Review, Pace Law Review, and the Fordham Urban Law Journal.
Professor Nolon conducts training programs on negotiation, mediation and environmental law for NGOs, private companies, local governments, state agencies domestically and internationally. Representative clients include: Scenic Hudson, Village of Ossining, the Surdna Foundation, Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA), Utah Property Rights Ombudsman, and The Environmental Commission of Trinidad and Tobago.

In 2007, Professor Nolon was the recipient of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section Honors Award.

Michael L. Rodburg
Of Counsel, Lowenstein Sandler PC

Michael L. Rodburg is one of the founders of modern environmental legal practice and has focused exclusively on it since 1973. A fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and Super Lawyers. Michael served more than a decade as Lowenstein Sandler's Managing Director, Chairman, President and CEO, leading the firm beyond its New Jersey roots to national prominence and guiding it to become one of the 200 largest law firms in the nation. Under his leadership, the firm had the highest percentage annual increase in revenue between 2003 and 2007 among all AmLaw 200 firms.

Michael represents companies in significant business transactions and in civil litigation and administrative agency proceedings arising out of a wide variety of environmental problems. He concentrates in hazardous substances litigation, mass tort defense, acquisition counseling and climate change initiatives.

Michael is a frequent author and lecturer. He has served on the editorial board of numerous journals, including The Environmental Claims Journal and Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy. He has written hundreds of articles during his career, has been published in the Harvard Law Review and the Rutgers Law Journal and is the author of several books, including the seminal New Jersey Environmental Law Handbook. He has taught at Rutgers Law School–Newark and Vermont Law School.

He serves on numerous charitable and community organizations' boards of directors, as well as the Hugo Neu Corporation, a privately held company based in New York City.

Joseph Siegel*
Senior Attorney and ADR Specialist, Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 2

Joe Siegel is a Senior Attorney and an Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, Office of Regional Counsel in New York. He has represented the Agency in administrative and federal court enforcement and defensive litigation under the Clean Air Act over the course of his 26 year career at the EPA. Joe specializes in climate change and air pollution law and policy, as well as facilitation and mediation of environmental matters. He co-chairs EPA Region 2’s Climate Change Workgroup and is the lead Regional attorney for climate change. In his work as a neutral facilitator, Joe seeks to build bridges between diverse stakeholders and arrive at collaborative solutions. He has applied these approaches to a wide variety of environmental matters, including climate change.

Joe served as Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Committee on Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecosystems and is a Vice-Chair of the ABA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. He also served as Vice-Chair of the ABA Renewable Energy Resources Committee and editor of the Energy Committees Newsletter. He is a certified mediator in Westchester County and a former community mediation volunteer for the Westchester Mediation Center. Joe is a frequent lecturer and writer on climate change as well as Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently a co-columnist on climate change and air pollution for the New York State Bar Association’s New York Environmental Lawyer.

 Linda R. Singer
President, Center for Dispute Settlement

Ms. Singer is a mediator, arbitrator, lawyer, teacher, and author and has been president of the Center for Dispute Settlement since 1971. She also is a principal in JAMS, the Resolution Experts. Through the years, she has maintained an active mediation practice, while training thousands of professionals, students, and volunteers worldwide in mediation and negotiation skills. Ms. Singer co-teaches the Mediation Workshop at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation for Lawyers and trains mediators for the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution. Ms. Singer was awarded the prestigious D’Alemberte-Raven Award in 2012 by the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.


Eleanor Stein**
Administrative Law Judge, New York State Public Service Commission

Eleanor Stein is an Administrative Law Judge at the New York State Public Service Commission, where she co-presides over New York’s Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard proceeding, a collaboration and litigation of over 150 parties. Judge Stein has mediated and arbitrated numerous energy, environmental, and telecommunications disputes, and co-designs alternative dispute resolution and mediation training at the PSC. She has taught mediation and ADR, as well as The Law of Climate Change: Domestic & Transnational, for the last five years at Albany Law School and the State University of New York at Albany. Judge Stein is a member of the Advisory Board of the Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Disputes, and was selected as a member of the Distinguished Panel of Neutrals on Energy, Oil & Gas of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, holds a Harvard Law School Advanced Mediation Certificate (2001), and has been trained at both the Cornell University Elements of Mediation (1994) and the Center for Dispute Resolution Training for Mediators (1995).

John J. Suloway***
Vice President, Project Development, Licensing & Compliance, New York Power Authority

John Suloway is the Vice President for the Project Development, Licensing and Compliance Department which is responsible for project development and licensing of NYPA’s facilities as well as for license compliance and implementation.  In the past 27 years, he has managed the licensing of 4 small hydro plants, a major 345 kV transmission line in southeastern New York, a 150 MW combined cycle plant on Long Island, a 500 MW combined cycle plant in Queens, 450 MW of combustion turbines in New York City, the Tri-Lakes Reliability Project in the Adirondack Park and the relicensing of the St. Lawrence-FDR Project in upstate New York.  He is currently overseeing the implementation of NYPA's new 50-year licenses for the St. Lawrence and Niagara Projects, the licensing and implementation of the Tri-Lakes Reliability Project, NYPA’s environmental compliance audit program and the development and licensing of new transmission and generation projects for NYPA. 


Edna Sussman, Esq.
Arbitrator & Mediator, SussmanADR, LLC

Edna Sussman is the principal of SussmanADR LLC and has been appointed as the Distinguished ADR Practitioner in Residence by the Fordham University School of Law. She started her career as a litigation associate and then partner at a prominent international law firm. Now a full time arbitrator and mediator, over the past 20 years she has served as the arbitrator or mediator in well over 100 arbitrations and well over 100 mediations in both domestic and international complex commercial disputes.

Ms.Sussman is one of five arbitration trainers nationwide for the American Arbitration Association's new arbitrators, serves on the boards and executive committees of the American Arbitration Association and the College of Commercial Arbitrators and as Vice Chair of the New York International Arbitration Center. She has published and lectured extensively on the arbitration and mediation process. She has won recognition and awards in the fields of arbitration and mediation, including being listed in the Who’s Who of international Arbitration and the Who’s Who of International Mediation, rated Tier 1 by U.S. New & World Report for arbitration and mediation and listed annually in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Based on peer reviews, she was named by Best Lawyers as the 2012 New York City Mediation Lawyer of the Year and as one of the ten outstanding international mediators in Who’s Who International Commercial Mediation 2013.


Hon. Curtis E. von Kann (Ret.)
Arbitrator and Mediator, JAMS and CPR Institute

Hon. Curtis E. von Kann (Ret.), in 42 years as a trial lawyer, trial judge, and ADR neutral, has had hands-on experience with matters involving virtually every field of civil law, including accounting, acquisitions, anti-trust, aviation, bankruptcy, civil rights, class actions, computers, condominiums, construction, consumer protection statutes, contracts, copyright, corporations, defamation, domestic relations, employment, engineering, entertainment, environmental, ERISA, executive compensation, False Claims Act, franchising, government contracts, healthcare, high tech, hospitals, insurance, intellectual property, investments, labor laws, partnerships, patents, personal injury, product liability, professional liability, Qui Tam, real estate, securities, telecommunications, trademarks, trade secrets, and unfair competition.

Judge von Kann, who is Immediate Past President of the College of Commercial Arbitration, literally wrote the book on business arbitration as Editor-in-Chief of the College’s Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration and Associate Editor of its Protocols for Expeditious, Cost-Effective Commercial Arbitration. He has served as sole arbitrator or member (usually chair) of tripartite panels in a wide variety of institutional and ad hoc cases (see Arbitration Bio) applying rules from JAMS, the American Arbitration Association, the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, and the International Center for Dispute Resolution as well as specialized party-crafted rules.

Daniel Weitz, Esq.
ADR Coordinator, New York State Unified Court System

Dan Weitz is the Deputy Director of the Division of Court Operations and Statewide Coordinator of the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Court Improvement Programs for the New York State Unified Court System.  Dan assists the Director of Court Operations in overseeing the statewide responsibilities of trial court operations, court interpreting services, legal information, records management, alternative dispute resolution, parent education and awareness, attorney for the child contracts and operational issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  As Coordinator of ADR/CIP, Dan oversees a statewide program of court-annexed ADR initiatives involving mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation, parenting coordination and collaborative law. He also oversees the Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program (CDRCP), the federally funded Court Improvement Project (CIP), the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Assistance Program, and the Children’s Centers Program.  Dan serves as Co-Counsel to the Board of Governors of the New York State Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program, Chair of the NYC Family Court Advisory Council, ADR Subcommittee and immediate past Chair of the New York City Bar Association ADR Committee. He also served as a member of the Unified Court System’s Matrimonial Commission and currently serves on the New York County Lawyers Association Family Law Task Force.  Dan has over ten years of experience as a court administrator and over eighteen years of experience in the field of ADR, serving as an administrator, professor, trainer, and practitioner.  He is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at Cardozo School of Law, and has taught ADR and conflict resolution at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Long Island University.  He has served as mediator in a wide range of matters including general civil, family, employment, human rights, community, and police-conduct cases.  Dan received his law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he participated in the Mediation Clinic and was a Teaching Assistant in Legal Negotiation.  He has worked at JAMS, Clerked for the Mediation Program of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (The Civil Appeals Management Plan), and served as an original member of FutureLinks Inc., working in South Africa with youth leaders from all backgrounds to conduct workshops in non-violent social change, conflict resolution, and community development. 

Peter H. Woodin, Esq.
Arbitrator and Mediator, JAMS

Peter Woodin is a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS. He specializes in the negotiation, mediation and arbitration of complex, multi-party litigation.  Mr. Woodin has successfully mediated settlements in a wide range of disputes, in such areas as insurance coverage, products liability and personal injury, employment discrimination, consumer class actions, trusts and estates, intellectual property, and numerous other business and commercial matters.  In addition to practice as a privately retained mediator and arbitrator, he has served as settlement administrator, court-appointed mediator and special master in numerous multi-district and other complex litigations, including Agent Orange, the DES (diethylstilbestrol) product liability litigation, and Latino Officers Association v. City of New York, and he was Deputy Special Master for the federal September 11 Victims Compensation Fund. Presently he is serving as a court-appointed mediator and special master in In re Baycol Products Liability Litigation (D. Minn.), and court-appointed special master for discovery in In re Zyprexa Products Liability Litigation (E.D.N.Y).   From 1989 to 1993 Mr. Woodin was a litigation attorney with Morrison & Foerster LLP, and from 1993 to 2004 he was a partner and mediator with The Feinberg Group LLP.  He earned his B.A. in 1971 from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1988, where he was an editor of the Columbia Law Review. Woodin was law clerk to Judge Jack B. Weinstein, in United States District Court, Eastern District, in 1988-89.

Usha Wright Esq.
Executive Vice President and Co-General Counsel, O'Brien & Gere

Usha Wright, Esq. serves as Executive Vice President and Co-General Counsel for Workforce Development for O’Brien & Gere, an engineering and project delivery company with 850 scientists, engineers, construction, and operation personnel located in 30 offices across the U.S.  Prior to working at O’Brien & Gere, Ms. Wright served as a senior officer for nearly 20 years at Ciba Geigy and later as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Environmental Health & Safety at ITT.  As Executive Vice President and Co-General Counsel, Ms. Wright is the executive officer responsible for Human Resources and Human Resource legal matters, corporate programs, training, and communications.  Through her work with Ciba Geigy and ITT, and as a current Director of the Environmental Law Institute, SHARE Africa, Asian American Federation of New York, and former Director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, Board of Certified Professionals, and National Environmental Managers Association, Ms. Wright is widely recognized as a high-profile environmental professional.  Additionally, she has directed workforce development efforts for a major global company, maximizing diversity and innovation through integrated diversity and work/life strategy programs.  Ms. Wright holds a BS in Chemistry from Rutgers University, an MS in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina, and a JD from Rutgers University School of Law.


*Disclaimer: Advisory services do not constitute or imply endorsement
of the programs or services of the Kheel Center by the USEPA.

** Disclaimer: Advisory services do not constitute or imply endorsement
of the programs or services of the Kheel Center by the
 New York State Public Service Commission.

*** Disclaimer: Advisory role and opinions do not represent those of NYPA
nor are they an endorsement of the Kheel Center's programs by NYPA.