Our Network of Neutrals 2018-03-13T16:30:16+00:00

Our Network of Neutrals

CAMS’ rosters of neutrals are highly qualified and experienced mediators and arbitrators with expertise in resolving business and commercial disputes, labor and employment cases, estates and trusts contests, guardianships and special needs cases, matrimonial and family law issues, and other legal conflicts.

Each of CAMS’ neutrals (both arbitrators and mediators) has a minimum of 20 years’ experience as a senior level attorney, an established reputation among colleagues and previous ADR users for fairness, integrity, objectivity and courteousness extended to all participants in the ADR process, and an established commitment to alternative dispute resolution as the preferred means of resolving legal disputes by speedy, cost-effective means. All of CAMS arbitrators enjoy a peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell of AV (preeminent – 5.0 out of 5).

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CAMS

Michael A. Levy
Patrick Michael McKenna
DAVID J. ABESHOUSE
Beth Polner Abrahams
Elizabeth Pollina Donlon
ERICA B. GARAY
Mickee Hennessy
Harriette M. Steinberg
ANDREW M. THALER

MICHAEL A. LEVY

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.

PATRICK MICHAEL MCKENNA

Patrick (Mike) McKenna is an attorney in private practice and a member of the New York and Florida Bars. Mike serves on numerous labor and commercial mediation and arbitration panels in New York and Florida.

Since 1999, Mike has mediated numerous federal cases in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.  In addition to private contractual mediations, he has mediated court cases in the U.S. District Court for Colorado, the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, the New York State Supreme Court, Nassau and Queens Commercial Divisions, the Circuit Courts of Broward and Palm Beach Counties in Florida, and cases under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association.  He has served as a Rule 53 Special Master in the Eastern District of New York, and was an inaugural member of both  the Mediation Advisory Committee for the Southern District of New York, the ADR Advisory Committee for the Eastern District of New York, and the ADR Advisory Council of the Nassau County Bar Association.  Mike has more than 375 hours of ADR training, and frequently serves as a presenter on ADR issues at CLE programs.

Prior to becoming a full-time neutral, Mike was an active litigator having represented hundreds of employees in FLSA, Title VII, ADEA, ADA, Section 1983, and ERISA actions in federal court.  Mike has also represented both public and private sector employers and unions in arbitration proceedings involving contract interpretation and disciplinary matters.

For more than 20 years, Mike served as corporation counsel to various municipalities, including the Nassau County Bridge Authority, and the Villages of Valley Stream and Malverne, where he was the lead labor negotiator in more than 25 collective bargaining agreements and the principal advocate in grievance, arbitration, and Section 75 proceedings.

Mike is a graduate of Buffalo Law School (1976), and holds a M.A. degree in American Government and Politics from George Washington University (1975), and a B.A. degree in Government from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1970).

DAVID J. ABESHOUSE

DAVID J. ABESHOUSE is a business mediator and arbitrator.  He has more than 35 years of business dispute resolution law practice experience and 20 years of ADR experience as a neutral in business-to-business disputes.  For more than a decade and a half, David has concentrated almost exclusively in ADR principally as a neutral mediator and arbitrator while also continuing his legal practice in areas of interest.

David is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville.  He has extensive commercial experience as lawyer or neutral in hundreds of cases involving entrepreneurs, professional practices, and small, medium, and large business enterprises.  He serves as an arbitrator on the Commercial Panel of Neutrals of the American Arbitration Assn. and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution as well as several other major ADR forums.  David also serves as a mediator through various forums as well as an ADR consultant to other lawyers.

Among David’s honors,

  • He was selected for charter membership (by invitation only) in The New York Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators (NYAMA; Executive Committee Member), Chapter of The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN).
  • David was selected for membership (by invitation only) as a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA).
  • He has been named as a New York Metro Area SuperLawyer (for the ADR category), since 2007.
  • He has received consistently perfect assessments from Martindale: AV-Preeminent (5.0 out of 5.0) rating for the past 20 years; and Avvo: 10 out of 10 rating since inception a decade ago.

David has served for many years on the Boards of Directors, as President, or pro bono General Counsel, of several not-for-profit entities, and for nearly 20 years he served as President of the U.S. (NYC and Chicago) real estate business of an Australian client.  He also is a past Chair of the Nassau County Bar Assn. Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.

David presents at public speaking engagements on ADR and other legal topics, and publishes articles online and in print (periodicals and books) nationwide and regionally. He is a past Adjunct Law Professor at St. John’s Univ. School of Law, teaching ADR Law.

BETH POLNER ABRAHAMS

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.

ELIZABETH POLLINA DONLON

Elizabeth (“Betty”) Pollina Donlon has more than 35 years’ experience in trusts and estates law, having concentrated in estate planning for individuals and small business owners – focusing on estate and gift tax analysis, and drafting  documents designed to carry out her clients’ intentions (e.g., wills, trusts, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, and buy-sell agreements of all kinds).  Betty enjoys an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubble. She has also served as both an advocate for clients and as a court-appointed guardian ad litem in many Surrogate’s Court proceedings, both uncontested and contested, involving probate, SCPA Art.17 & 17-A guardianships, administration, accounting, and miscellaneous proceedings. She has also advocated on behalf of petitioners and defended respondents in various in MHL Art.81 guardianship proceedings in Supreme Court, and has served as court-appointed counsel and as court evaluator. As an advocate, Betty gained first-hand knowledge of the benefits of resolving family and business conflicts through the mediation process.

Betty is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA) Mediation Panel, and served as the immediate past Chair of the NCBA Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee and as a coordinator/mediator with the NCBA Court-Referred Guardianship Mediation Pilot Project. As ADR Committee Chair, she coordinated (and sometimes acted as the scriptwriter) for NCBA CLE programs, including: What Transactional Attorneys and Litigators Need to Know About Arbitration Clauses; Family Business Divorce: What Every Lawyer Should Know About Mediation; Mediation in the Guardianship Part: A Demonstration of How It Works; Dean’s Hour: Resolving an Estate-Related Commercial Dispute; Family Business Divorce: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Mediation; and The Role of the Lawyer-Advocate in the Mediation Process. She also coordinated a community outreach program, entitled: Keeping Family Feuds (and Other Fights) Out of Court. She has authored several articles, the most recent of which is entitled: “Using Mediation to Resolve Title VII Disputes: Changing the Meaning of Winning,” Employment Relations Today, John Wiley & Sons.

Among her professional associations are the following: NCBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (Chair, 2013-2015);NCBA ADR Advisory Council (2014-2016); NCBA ADR Promotional Council (2014-2016); NCBA Surrogate’s Court, Trusts & Estates (Chair, 1998-2000); NCBA Elder Law, Social Services and Health Advocacy Committee; NCBA Grievance Committee; NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section (Committee on Mediation, Subcommittee on Mediation for Estates & Trusts, Elder Law, Special Needs & Guardianship); NYSBA Trusts & Estates Section; NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Section, Committee on Mediation; ABA Dispute Resolution Section, Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR) Committee; ABA Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section; Nassau-Suffolk Law Services Advisory Council, 2002- present. She received her BA magna cum laude from Fordham University at Lincoln Center and her JD from New York Law School.

ERICA B. GARAY

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.

MICKEE HENNESSY

Mickee Hennessy is engaged in the active practice of law and serves as a mediator on the mediation panel of for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York where she has successfully resolved contested matters through mediation.

She is highly experienced in the areas of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, including complex workout and restructuring matters. Mickee has represented secured and unsecured creditors and debtors in Chapters 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases and has substantial experience in cases involving banking and financial institutions, health care companies, insurance companies and manufacturers in the fashion and textile industries. She has also served as counsel for a number of creditors’ committees.

Mickee has lectured on and moderated a number of panels on bankruptcy, ethics and mediation issues, and has published articles in the New York Law Journal and the Nassau Lawyer. She is presently a member of the Chapter 11 Lawyer Advisory Committee (“LAC”) for the Eastern District of New York and is on the Mediation Sub-Committee for the LAC.

Mickee has represented clients in a number of high profile bankruptcy cases, including In re Madoff Securities, In re Levitz Furnishings, Inc. et al., In re Worldcom, In re Enron Corp. et al., and In re Marvel Entertainment.

Mickee earned her law degree at Fordham University School of Law in 1995 where she was a member of the Dean’s List and an Editor of the Mentor Moot Court Program. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam, Crane School of Music in 1990, where she studied violin.

Mickee is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association, the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, the Commerce and Industry Council of Long Island, the Turnaround Management Association Long Island Chapter and is a partner in the Energeia Partnership, a regional stewardship organization of business leaders.

Mickee is past chair of the Bankruptcy Law Committee for the Nassau County Bar Association, and previously served as Vice President/ Legal Counsel for the Turnaround Management Association Long Island Chapter and on the Strategic Planning Committee for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York. In 2013, Mickee was named by Long Island Business News as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Business.

Mickee is admitted to practice in the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

HARRIETTE M. STEINBERG

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.

ANDREW M. THALER

Andrew M. Thaler is an attorney and founding member of Thaler Law Firm PLLC which concentrates on bankruptcy, insolvency and commercial law.  Andrew has been a commercial and bankruptcy mediator for more than 15 years.  He has also been a Federal Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee since 1990.

Andrew has served as a mediator on many cases either as a party selected, or Court appointed, neutral.  mediator.  Given that many bankruptcy disputes are conducive to resolution without full litigation or trials, in his capacity as a Chapter 7 trustee Andrew has negotiated hundreds of settlements in diverse industries

Andrew serves on the roster of mediators for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Nassau County Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the Mediation Panel of the Nassau County Bar Association, and the Mediation Panel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York for Sandy Storm cases.  He was one of three court appointed mediators in the multi-million dollar Agape World Inc. bankruptcy Ponzi Scheme case E.D.N.Y Case No. 09-70660 where he mediated to resolution over one hundred “claw back” preference and fraudulent conveyance actions commenced by the trustee against investors and others.

Andrew has mediated business and partner disputes matters relating to objections to discharge and dischargeability of debts, landlord tenant disputes, professional fee disputes, avoidance actions and more.  He also serves as a Court Appointed Part 137 Attorney Fee Dispute Arbitrator under the New York State Fee Dispute Program.

Andrew is a former Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution (2008-2010) and Bankruptcy Law Committees (1990-1992).  He served as president of the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court (2010-2011) and Dean of Nassau County Bar Association Academy of Law (2001-2002).  He has also served as a presenter or panel member for programs and workshops on mediation for the United States Bankruptcy Court E.D.N.Y., the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court, Nassau County Family Court, and Nassau Academy of Law.

Andrew has most recently authored An Attorney’s Role in Mediation, Nassau Lawyer The Journal of the Nassau County Bar Association October 2016 Edition Vol. 66, No 2 and a chapter in Examiners in Bankruptcy Cases A Guide for Examiners, Courts and Practitioners (Author of Chapter 3 – The Examiner: Powers and Limitations) 2013-2014 Edition Thomas Reuters West Law and The Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  In 2010 he served on a committee that assisted the Honorable Alan S. Trust, United States Bankruptcy Court Judge E.D.N.Y. in developing a Pro Bono Mediation Pilot Program for the court that is in use today.

Andrew has been rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest level in professional excellence, and has been recognized by L.I. Pulse Magazine (2010 – 2017), as one of the region’s “Top Legal Eagles.”  Andrew has also been named as one of New York’s top attorneys in Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights by New York/Metro Super Lawyers (2012-2017).

Andrew is a graduate of Buffalo Law School (JD, 1983) and the State University of New York at Albany (BA, 1979).