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.