Michael A. Levy, a co-founder of CAMS, has more than 25 years’ experience as an ADR (alternative dispute resolution) practitioner. In the late 1980’s, Michael was appointed to serve as an arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (now FINRA – the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), where he served on many securities dispute cases, both as an arbitration panel member and more often as chair.
In 1993, Michael was appointed as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and has served continuously on the AAA Arbitration Panel since then. He is on the AAA’s Complex Commercial Case Panel and has served as both panel member and panel chair on many domestic and international commercial disputes.
In 2005, Michael’s interest turned to mediation, having concluded that in many if not most cases, the best resolution of legal disputes are achieved through self-determination of the parties with the assistance of a qualified mediator to assist them through the process leading to settlement. In addition to his appointment as an AAA’s arbitrator, Michael was also appointed to the AAA mediation roster on which he continues to serve.
In 2014, Michael decided to make a career change, turning from a full-time law and part-time ADR practice to a full-time ADR and part-time law practice. As part of this transformation in his professional career, he became counsel to the law firm of Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein, with offices in Uniondale, New York.
Michael is a student of mediation both in practice and in theory. With more than 100 hours of mediation training in addition to his substantial arbitration training, he has mediated more than 175 court ordered and private disputes. In addition to his service as a mediator and arbitrator for CAMS, Michael serves on the U.S. District Court mediation panels for both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He has also been appointed to, and has served on the mediation panels of the American Arbitration Association, the American Dispute Resolution Center, Inc., the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, the mediation panels of the Commercial Divisions of the New York Supreme Court for the Counties of Suffolk, Nassau, Queens and New York and the mediation and arbitration panels of the Nassau County Bar Association.
Of the more than 300 volunteer mediators on the Southern District mediation panel, Michael ranks at the top of the list, having accepted more than 50 mediations in federal court cases over just the past several years. These cases include complex wage and hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employment discrimination claims under Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, complex corporate, partnership, limited liability company, and individual commercial and business disputes, and environmental claims filed in federal and state courts, among others.
On average, each dispute takes between one and three days to resolve. Michael’s high settlement success rate has helped contribute to swifter justice and closure for the parties involved, while simultaneously reducing congested caseloads in the courts he serves. Rebecca Price, the ADR Program Director of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, praised his contribution of “countless hours of . . . service to the SDNY Mediation Program.” Robyn Weinstein, ADR Director for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has also expressed similar thoughts, stating, “Michael Levy has dedicated countless . . . hours to the EDNY Mediation Program. He has served as both a pro bono mediator and a pro bono advocate in the court’s limited scope Mediation Advocacy Program.
Michael is also a member of the newly formed ADR Advisory Council for the federal court in the Eastern District. In addition to his current service on the Eastern District’s Advisory Council, Michael was previously appointed to serve a two-year term as a member of the Southern District court’s Mediator Advisory Committee. The two bodies propose policy and rule changes to improve each court’s ADR program, and they undertake other projects designed to expand and enhance the District Courts’ mediation programs.
Michael has also played a prominent policy making role in the development of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Panels. As a member of the Advisory Council to the NCBA’s ADR Tribunal, Michael was one of the principal draftsmen tasked with promulgating the rules, procedures and protocols under which the new ADR program operates.
Michael earned his B.A. degree from the University of Connecticut, his J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law, and his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.
Beth Polner Abrahams, a 1981 graduate of Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H (now, the University of New Hampshire School of Law), is an elder law, guardianship, special needs, and estate planning attorney. Prior to opening her own law practice in 2002, she worked for elder law and estate planning firms on Long Island, in bank regulatory practice for the FDIC, and as an attorney and counselor for several Long Island nonprofits. Beth Polner Abrahams, a 1981 graduate of Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H (now, the University of New Hampshire School of Law), is an elder law, guardianship, special needs, and estate planning attorney. Prior to opening her own law practice in 2002, she worked for elder law and estate planning firms on Long Island, in bank regulatory practice for the FDIC, and as an attorney and counselor for several Long Island nonprofits.
Beth is certified as a mediator under the Office of Court Administration Part 146 standards and criteria. Her training includes The Peace Institute (May 2013), Brooklyn, New York; Elder Decisions (based in Massachusetts) (June 2014) with training in Westchester, New York; and the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation Program (September 2014), New York, New York, as well as ongoing courses in ethics in mediation and specialty programs. She is qualified to mediate:
- Elder Care and Elder Law family disputes
- Article 81 and 17A guardianship contests (pre-court and post-court filings)
- Surrogate estate disputes
- Special needs planning and family disputes (pre-court and post-court filings).
Beth is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Trusts & Estates, and Elder Law Committees. She is current co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Mediation for the Elder Law and Special Needs Section; and is a member of the New York State Bar Dispute Resolution Section and the American Bar Association and its Dispute Resolution Committee.
She is the author of numerous articles on elder law, guardianship, and supplemental needs trusts.
Erica B. Garay, is a full-time neutral mediator and arbitrator, having practiced law for nearly four decades. Erica has handled nearly 200 cases as a neutral. She is frequently appointed to cases involving business-to-business disputes, claims between business owners, complex commercial and valuation and dissolution disputes, as well as myriad employment claims, including sex, age, race, religion, ADEA, ADA and other discrimination claims, wage and hour (FLSA) matters and executive compensation and other disputes arising from employment agreements. She has substantial experience in restrictive covenants (non-competition, NDA, and non-solicitation clauses) as well as trade secrets, trademark, copyright and other intellectual property issues.
Prior to focusing full-time on mediation and arbitration, Erica headed the ADR Practice Group at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, PC, where she was a member of the firm. As a litigator, she handled complex commercial and employment litigation, and advised businesses and management. Her experience includes counselling clients in complex shareholder disputes and governance issues, valuation of partnerships, LLCs and corporations (and interests) as well as dissolutions of those entities. As a neutral, she has presided over break-ups of various types of businesses including law and accounting practices, apparel, retail, real estate and companies in the hospitality industry, as well as other commercial and employment disputes (including claims involving theft of trade secrets, and breaches of restrictive covenants).
Erica is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. She earned her undergraduate degree from Binghamton University (BA English). She served as co-chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, and is currently a member of its Nominating Committee. She is a frequent lecturer and author on articles involving shareholder disputes and alternative dispute resolution, arbitration and mediation.
Erica is on the rosters of neutrals of the American Arbitration Association for Complex and Commercial Disputes and its Employment, and Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Venture panels, as well as the court rosters for the Commercial Division of the NYS Supreme Court and the Southern and Eastern District federal courts (including bankruptcy court rosters), and the Nassau County Bar Association panels of mediators and arbitrators. She served as a
trustee of the Long Island Children’s Museum and several other boards of directors, and was the founder and President of the Long Island Women’s Agenda. She is the recipient of many awards, and is in the Hall of Fame, having been elected Long Island’s Top 50 Women three times.
Harriette M. Steinberg is a practicing attorney who specializes in the fields of matrimonial and elder law. She has been a matrimonial mediator for more than 18 years. In 2013, Harriette turned her mediation skills to conflicts involving aging, guardianship and estate matters. In 2015, she was appointed to act as a mediator in the Matrimonial Special Masters Panel of the New York State Supreme Court for Nassau County. Harriette has extensive expertise and experience in collaborative law practice, preferring resolution of legal issues through negotiation in lieu of litigation.
Before becoming an attorney, Harriette provided fiduciary accounting services to the law firms of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Reid & Priest, and Mudge, Rose, Guthrie and Alexander. This experience led her to pursue an education, and subsequently, a career in the law. From 1993 to 1995, she was an adjunct Professor at Hofstra University where she taught graduate students a course in Aging, Public Policy and the Law.
Harriette is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the New York State Women’s Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is a past Director of the Nassau County Bar Association as well as a past Board Member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. She has lectured extensively on matrimonial and contested guardianship issues at the Nassau County Bar Association, the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University, the Mercy League, the National Business Institute, the New York Institute of Technology, the National Organization for Women and the New York State Bar Association. Harriette has received numerous professional acknowledgements and awards, including recognition by Distinction Magazine of Long Island’s Most Influential Women, the Long Island Center for Business’ Achievers Award. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Hofstra University School of Law.