AABANY Congratulates Chris Kwok on Publishing an Article in the New York Law Journal on Mediating Employment Disputes Ethically

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) congratulates Issues Committee Chair, Asia Practice Committee Co-Chair and Board Director Chris Kwok on his recent article published on September 1, 2020 in the New York Law Journal entitled “Mediating Employment Disputes Ethically: Ensuring Quality and Fairness in the #MeToo, #BLM, #COVID-19 Era.”

In the article, Mr. Kwok begins by exploring the value of mediation and the importance of mediators upholding ethical standards to ensure a just process in the #MeToo, #BLM, #COVID-19 era. Mr. Kwok then delves into the novel challenges that virtual negotiations bring, ranging from the issue of confidentiality and stability of internet connections to the ethics of avoiding categorization of damages as reparations for sexual harassment.

In 2005, the American Arbitration Association, American Bar Association, and Association for Conflict Resolution promulgated the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators that has since served as a central guide for mediators who encounter ethical conundrums. The article concludes by suggesting that the emergence of unprecedented technological and confidentiality concerns in a challenging time call for a potential revisitation of the Model Standards of Conduct and prompts readers to ponder the changing scope of ethical duties mediators need to take on.

To read the article, click here.

NYC Bar Offers Scholarship Opportunity for Surrogate’s Court Mediation Training

The City Bar and Community Mediation Services is now offering a limited number of scholarships to the upcoming Surrogate’s Court Mediation Training – 16-Hour Online Training. The scholarships are intended to encourage a more diverse group of attorneys to consider adding Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to their practices. This program is approved under Part 146 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge and satisfies the training requirements of many local court ADR panels. 

Attorneys are required to attend at all four days of the program, which will run virtually on the following dates: September 15, 17, 22 & 24, 2020 from 9 am – 1 pm on each day.

Interested candidates should send their résumé and an optional statement of interest, to Paula Mukwaya at [email protected] by the evening of Monday, August 31st.  

For more information about this Surrogate’s Court Mediation Training, please click here.

AABANY and SABANY Co-Sponsor Careers in Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) Panel

On Monday, July 15th, AABANY, along with SABANY, co-sponsored a panel on Careers in Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) at the JAMS office located on the 16th floor of the New York Times Building at 620 8th Ave. The panel featured Dr. Kabir Dhuggal, Senior Associate at Arnold & Porter, Robyn Weinstein, ADR Administrator at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Rebecca Price, Director of the ADR program at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Chris Kwok, mediator and arbitrator at JAMS, ADR Services. Chris Kwok is a Board Director of AABANY, Co-Chair of the Asia Practice Committee, and Chair of the Issues Committee. The panel was moderated by Amit Kumar, Managing Attorney at the Law Offices of William Cafaro. 

After a brief introduction of the panelists, Kumar first asked panelists, “How did you become involved in ADR?” The panelists’ responses ranged from studying it early in law school to falling into the realm of ADR later. Price noted her background as a social worker in helping to make the transition to working in ADR more naturally. Kwok affirmed that and humorously added, “When I try to describe mediation, I sometimes tell people that I’m a psychologist with a law degree.”

The panelists also spoke on key skills for thriving in a career in ADR. These skills included patience, engaged listening, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a genuine passion for the work. Dr. Dhuggal especially emphasized the necessity of robust legal writing skills. He advised, “Legal writing is an art that needs to be finessed. Make every effort you can. A simple way to do this is to find a senior whose writing you particularly admire and tell them that you’d like to co-author a piece with them.” Everyone commented on the importance of meaningful networking as well—be it through organizations such as AABANY and SABANY to even organizing panels with professionals you’d like to reach out to. 

Other topics discussed during the well-attended panel included improving diversity in ADR, domestic ADR vs. international ADR, and predictions on future trends in the career pathway. Afterwards, attendees munched on assorted snacks from Cafe Zaiya while networking—as discussed during the panel. Thank you to all of our accomplished panelists for sharing their valuable insights! 

Mediation Settlement Day Kick-Off Event

Please save the date, Tuesday, October 13, 2015, for the annual Mediation Settlement Day Kick-Off Event, which will be held from 4:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m. at New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, New York, NY.

Who Sponsors MSD?
Mediation Settlement Day is sponsored by the New York State Unified Court System, FINRA Dispute Resolution, and over 100 alternative dispute resolution programs, bar associations, community-based programs, schools, public and non-profit organizations.

What Happens at the Kick-Off Event on Oct. 13?
The Mediation Settlement Day Kick-Off Event begins with informal networking. Mediation organizations, law schools and community groups get together and educate the public about their programs and services. It is also a good opportunity to learn about the mediation profession and career path to become a mediator. Next, a Frontline Champion Award is presented. Finally, a keynote address is given by the Honorary Chairperson. This year’s honorary chair will be announced at a later date.

The event is free and RSVP is not required.

Note: Follow the New York State Unified Court System on Twitter – @NYSCourtsNews and Instagram – @nycourts, for court-related news and event information.

_______________________________________________________________________

Andrea Garcia 

New York State Unified Court System

Office of Public Affairs

www.nycourts.gov/community_outreach

SDNY NOTICE: No Mediation Panel Applications Accepted after April 8

COURT NOTICE TO THE BAR 
CONTACT: Rebecca Price, 212-805-0650 

APPLICATIONS TO PARTICIPATE IN COURT’S MEDIATION PROGRAM WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER APRIL 8

Please be advised that after April 8, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) will temporarily stop accepting new applications for its mediation panel, the court’s roster of volunteer attorney-mediators, to conduct a review of the program’s eligibility criteria. However, the SDNY’s Mediation Program will continue to provide mediation services to the court’s litigants as usual.  Applications for the mediation panel that were submitted to the court prior to April 8, 2013 will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis. 

US District Ct. Mediation Program

The Hon. Harold Baer, U.S. District Court  Judge, Southern District of New York would like to see more diverse attorneys involved in the Court’s mediation program. Judge Baer has observed that “one of the many advantages of our program is that we provide phenomenal training for those who have no previous exposure to mediating disputes but are interested in learning."  To learn more about serving as a mediator in SDNY, read Local Civil Rule 83.12 here.

If you interested in learning more about this program, please email Taa Grays at [email protected]. You must email Ms. Grays by Monday, December 12, 2011.