Michael A. Levy, the founder of CAMS and its CEO, 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 a 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 aide them through the process leading to settlement.
In 2014, Michael decided to make a career change, switching 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, LLP with offices in Uniondale, New York.
Michael has participated in hundreds of court ordered and private mediations. In addition to serving as a mediator and arbitrator for CAMS, Michael has been appointed to the mediation panels of the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He also serves as a mediator for the American Arbitration Association, and is on the panels of 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 has ranked among the most active mediators, having accepted mediations in more than 60 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, Equal Pay Act claims, Age Discrimination in Employment Act claims, ERISA cases, Section 1983 cases involving claims of police misconduct, ERISA cases, and other federal lawsuits. Michael has also mediated complex corporate, partnership, LLC and individual commercial and business disputes, as well as environmental claims filed in federal and state courts, among others.
Michael’s high success rate has helped contribute to swifter justice and closure for the parties involved, while simultaneously reducing congested caseloads in the courts he serves. Consistent with his commitment to advancing the mediation process, Michael has also served as a pro bono mediator in both the New York Southern and Eastern District federal courts.
Michael is currently a member of the ADR Department Advisory Council for the federal court in the Eastern District of New York. In addition to his current service on the Eastern District’s Council, Michael has previously served 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 played a prominent policy making role in the development of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Panels. He has served as the Chair of the Advisory Council for the Bar Association’s Arbitration and Mediation Panels. 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, a J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law, and an 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.