September 1, 2022 - TWLF Managing Member Elan E. Weinreb, in his capacity as Co-Chair of The New York County Lawyers Association's ("NYCLA")
Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") Committee, delivers the following farewell message.
The past three years have been a whirlwind in so many ways. When [Co-Chair] Chris [Fladgate] and I first took charge of the Committee in
October 2019, we had modest aspirations for it, which largely consisted of reviving it from a state of dormancy. With [Vice-Chair] Nelson [Timken] coming on board in late 2019, we started down
that path with an innovative CLE event on faith-based dispute resolution that took place in February 2020.
Ironically, one month later, as the pandemic brutally intensified, we quickly came to realize—along with our colleagues, families, and friends—that we needed our respective faiths more than ever. In this regard, I will never forget reciting the Hebrew names of 844 people stricken by COVID on
Passover Eve 2020 as part of a prayer for the sick and wondering as the recitation stretched on whether that Passover would be my last. (For those wondering, BTW, how long it took, it was 32
minutes of nonstop reading).
But for the Committee to continue to flourish amidst the adversity brought on by COVID, faith alone was not sufficient. We needed drive and
esprit de corps as well to accompany that faith. Bari Chase, Daler Radjabov, and their NYCLA CLE Department colleagues, capably supported by NYCLA's many officers of all ranks, were there every
step of the way—and still are to this day—to provide that drive and esprit de corps (in addition to prodigious CLE materials and technology resources), as
evidenced by the THOUSANDS (and this is not an exaggeration by any means) of e-mail messages that Chris, Nelson, and I exchanged with them.
All in all, together and in cyberspace, we accomplished a great deal—including running at least 15 CLE events . . . and 8 ADR trainings—all while overcoming difficult internal and external challenges (with some such as the thorny issue of neutral compensation still yet to be
Throughout our collective journey, we met people from all over the globe, including but not limited to Barbara Wilson, a highly experienced
mediator from the United Kingdom, and Len Hickey, CEO of Litigaze, a decision tree SaaS company, who Zoomed in . . . from Australia just last week.
We also "leveled up" in various ways. I now have ten ADR panel certifications/memberships under my belt, including three AAA designations
(Commercial Arbitrator, Commercial Mediator, and Consumer Arbitrator) and an Appellate Division, Second Department Special Master designation, Chris and Nelson both became Fellows of the Chartered
Institute of Arbitrators members after passing rigorous examinations, and Nelson—unquestionably and
most impressively as far as ADR accomplishments are concerned—earned an LL.M in dispute resolution
from Fordham University School of Law. Daler—unquestionably and most impressively as far as
any accomplishment in the world is concerned—became a father two minutes before the conclusion of
the summer 2021 16-hour Advanced Divorce Mediation Training (which is my counter-experience to the recitation of the 844 names discussed above).
We further forged and cemented many new connections in the New York Unified Court System from ADR Coordinators to Appellate Division Special
Masters to members of the judiciary too numerous to list here.
In addition, we recruited—and still continue
to recruit--the best of the best ADR practitioners from around the world—who are also too numerous
to list here—to share their wisdom and insight with us, and we were incredibly fortunate to have the
late Chuck Newman, Esq., of blessed memory, join us for several of our programs.
And last but certainly not least, in February, we outbid renowned and respected private ADR providers and bar associations to become [the]
designated STATEWIDE Part 137 [Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program] arbitration training provider.
In short, we've seen and experienced first-hand the ADR Committee's development and evolution—all with G-d's ever-present assistance—from virtual non-existence into the powerhouse institution that it is today. It has been an amazing journey, and while in just over 48 hours, I will no
longer be steering the proverbial ship, I know that it is in extremely capable hands and am confidently optimistic that with the continued dedication of the Committee's leadership, NYCLA, and
you—our esteemed Committee members—the best is still yet to come.