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1) WHAT’S NEW? Our website! We’re very excited to have taken our website to new heights, providing visitors with… We’re very excited to have taken our website to new heights, providing visitors with… an improved neutral search; easier case submission; a streamlined experience; and all of the reliable information you’ve come to expect from MDRS.…

Conciliation

In several court counties, both district courts and superior courts schedule cases for conciliation conferences before retired judges or members of the bar usually acting on a volunteer basis, to assist the parties in settling their case or to ready the case for trial.  These sessions resemble mediations but are generally much shorter, typically between…

Metaxas, Esq.

Anthony Metaxas has concentrated his private law practice thereafter in Massachusetts on a full range of business matters, including litigation of corporate and partnership issues, fiduciary, trade secret and unfair competition matters, contract disputes, trust and estate litigation and employment issues. Anthony has served for many years as a mediator and arbitrator in business litigation disputes…

Mediation and Arbitration Video Conferencing

Dear Friends and Colleagues, We’re committed to staying one step ahead of COVID-19 restrictions.     Though our ‘new normal’ is rapidly evolving, we’ve been working hard to remain your choice as The Dispute Resolution Resource. You can mediate, arbitrate, and settle your cases using online video conferencing. Together, we can keep reaching resolution. MDRS…

Zeytoonian, Esq.

Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts Attorney Zeytoonian is the founding member and Director of Dispute Resolution Counsel, LLC (DRC), in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, and is a lawyer, mediator and ombudsman. Founded in 2008 as the then Zeytoonian Center for Dispute Resolution, LLC, DRC focuses on resolving employment, business, family, education, consumer protection, probate and other disputes without…

Rabkin, Esq.

Lynn, Massachusetts Sandor Rabkin  is currently with Demakis Law Offices (1996 to Present).  Previously, he held the following positions: Niarcho & Toto (1995 to 1996), where he was involved in extensive range of tort and workers compensation matters; Mahoney, Kiley, Szulkin & Steward (1988 to 1995) as defense counsel; Long Anderson & McTaggart (1987 to 1988);…

Langella, Esq.

Framingham / Boston, Massachusetts Attorney Langella began his exclusive DR practice in 2015 after a career that included twenty-six years as a trial attorney at two prominent Boston law firms, four years as General Counsel at a publicly traded medical device company and two years as Chief of the Business, Technology & Economic Development Division…

Hamilton, Esq.

Lowell, Massachusetts Attorney Hamilton is licensed to practice law in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association. He has taken over 250 cases to trial in the Superior and District Court in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Federal District Court, various arbitration forums and administrative bodies. Prior…

Delaney, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts Goddard, Scuteri & Delaney (1991 to present), Partner; Costello, Frattaroli, Barrett, Gonthier & Goddard, P.C. (1989-1991); Associate; Essex County District Attorney’s Office (1987 to 1988), Assistant District Attorney. Attorney Delaney has also served as an arbitrator and mediator in many cases involving a wide range of matters, including all insurance claims, personal injury,…

Harris, Esq.

Boston, MA Brian Harris has been practicing law since 1980. He is an experienced civil litigation attorney who has tried numerous cases in all the courts here in Massachusetts. He has also consulted and advised hundreds of clients in the areas of personal injury claims, insurance bad faith/93A allegations, insurance policy interpretation and mediation/arbitration dispute…

Goddard, Esq.

Attorney Goddard is a partner at Goddard, Scuteri & Delaney (1991 to present). He represents both plaintiffs and defendants principally in civil litigation and personal injury law matters; Costello, Frattaroli, Barrett, Gonthier & Goddard, P.C. (1988-1991); Private Practice (1970 -1988); Avery, Dooley, Post & Avery (1964-1970).  For over 20 years Attorney Goddard has also served…

Katrina Luciano

Meet Katrina Luciano, our Client Coordinator. In this position, Katrina serves as client liaison, assisting in coordinating and scheduling cases for dispute resolution with counsel and pro se clients, while providing high level support to MDRS Founder and CEO Attorney Brian Jerome and Director of Marketing and Operations Sheri Wilson. Need help with scheduling?  Have…

Mahler

Elliott Mahler is currently Of Counsel at Avratin Law Offices (2006 – present). Mahler was Of Counsel at Barron & Stadfeld, P.C. beginning in 1995. Before that, he held the following positions: Partner, Todd & Weld (1992 – 1995); Partner, Davis, Malm & D’Agostine (1986 – 1991); Weston, Patrick, W’Lllard & Redding (1969 – 1986);…

Alexander

Alexander, Femino & Lauranzano, (1968 to present), Partner of general practice of law specializing in real estate development, municipal law, zoning, landlord/tenant, U.S. and Massachusetts tax law, corporate, banking law. City Solicitor, City of Beverly (1988 to 1992). Assistant City Solicitor, City of Beverly (1985 to 1988). Ronan, Segal & Harrington, Salem, Massachusetts (1981 to…

Adamopoulos

Anthony C. Adamopoulos started his dispute resolution career in 1991 when six attorneys called him from outside of a judge’s lobby. “Our trial begins Monday and the judge said we should mediate. We don’t want to offend the judge. Will you hold a mediation session with us before Monday?” The case settled and Tony was…

Homepage

97% of cases don’t make it to trial. We’re one of the reasons why. MDRS. The Dispute Resolution Resource. Statistics don’t lie: DR has evolved to become the primary means of case management and resolution. Planning for pre-trial settlement is an essential legal strategy. Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services (MDRS) provides a full range of out-of-court…

Mediating Business Disputes Effectively

By Guest Blogger Tim Langella Business disputes come in all shapes and sizes, and often have both monetary and non-monetary elements. Here’s an interesting mediation case study: A successful, public company is looking for a consultant to assist with a 5 year project that will be undertaken through several, ongoing work orders. The founder of…

Elizabeth (Beth) Roth, Esq.

Lowell, MA Salem, NH EDUCATION: Massachusetts School of Law (J.D. 1997) University of New Hampshire (M.A. in Counseling 1991, B.A. 1988) LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Attorney Roth concentrates her practice of law on counseling companies at all phases of development. Her in-house business and employment law experience serving as In-House Corporate Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for…

Why Collaborative Divorce is Different & Better

By:  Anthony C. Adamopoulos MDRS Neutral and Guest Blogger THE DIFFERENCE: The Collaborative Divorce Process is so much better because it is the only process where the attorneys are committed, by written agreement, to concentrate on settlement, AND, if they cannot get a settlement, they cannot represent you in litigation. The difference is truly transformative…

What is the Difference Between Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce?

MEDIATION is an independent, voluntary, confidential process conducted by a mediator, who is neutral. Attorneys are not required. The mediator will: Assist you and your spouse in identifying those issues preventing settlement. Explore various avenues to resolution. Develop a settlement resolution acceptable to you and your spouse. Will prepare a Separation Agreement for presentation to…

How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce Through Mediation?

The time it takes to get “through” the Mediation Process initially depends on whether or not each party returns a properly completed Probate and Family Court Financial Statement. The Mediator needs a correct Financial Statement for many reasons. An insufficient Statement causes delay and increased cost. At the outset, the Mediator will provide clients with…

Richard T. Corbett, Esq.

Boston, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Suffolk University Law School; University of Massachusetts at Boston. LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Attorney Corbett is Of Counsel at Williams & Associates, concentrating in providing Alternate Dispute Resolution Services as a neutral mediator and arbitrator, as well as select civil litigation and appeals; and Of Counsel at Williams & Associates, concentrating in insurance defense civil litigation. For…

Paul R. Kelley Esq.

Lexington, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston University School of Law (J.D. 1978); Tufts University (B.A. cum laude 1978). LEGAL EXPERIENCE:  Mr. Kelley is a full time mediator and arbitrator hearing claims for personal injury, employment discrimination, professional malpractice, and product liability. A 20-year trial attorney with over 150 jury trials conducted, he helps litigants mediate their claims on the…

Stuck in Divorce Court? Here is Your Last Chance to Cut Costs and Aggravation

By Anthony C. Adamopoulos Are you in divorce litigation? Are you having second thoughts – time standards, discovery cost, no trial in sight? Enough! You have complained to your attorney and your attorney reports that your spouse’s attorney has heard the same complaints from your spouse. Your attorney suggests mediation or conciliation. What is the…

Divorce Arbitration is the Way to Go! So……

by Anthony C. Adamopoulos A decision of our Appeals Court, Gravlin v. Gravlin, is helpful for those facing divorce. For collaborative divorce attorneys and divorce mediators, the decision confirms that arbitration is the viable alternative to court litigation for resolving a single issue or even taking the place of a full court trial. In Gravlin,…

Brian Jerome selected as Super Lawyer for 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BRIAN R. JEROME, MDRS Founder and CEO, selected as 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyer DR Industry leader Brian R. Jerome brings valuable knowledge and experience of out-of-court Dispute Resolution to those seeking mediation and arbitration solutions as a means to achieve faster, less frustrating, and more effective resolution to business and personal disputes.…

MBA’s Conflict Resolution Week

By  Michael A. Zeytoonian, Member of the MDRS Panel of Neutrals/Guest Blogger An annual national tradition in the legal community is the celebration of “Conflict Resolution Week” (CRW) and “Conflict Resolution Day” (CRD) on the third week and the third Thursday of October respectively. This tradition reportedly started here in New England by the New…

Dispute Resolution Day in Massachusetts

Governor Baker has declared October the 19th  2017 Dispute Resolution Day in Massachusetts!  You can read Gov. Baker’s full announcement here: https://www.massbar.org/media/1807084/dr%20day%20proclamation.pdf  The day falls within Conflict Resolution Week and Baker urges all citizens of Massachusetts “to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.”  Citizens deserve education and access to ALL appropriate forms of dispute resolution. October…

Child Support Guidelines Changes & Parenting Time

By  Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Member of the MDRS Panel of Neutrals/Guest Blogger The current “old” Child Support Guidelines provided a separate child support calculation where, for example, the father shared “financial responsibility and parenting time” of greater than one-third but less than fifty percent of the time. This usually meant that if, for example, the…

MDRS Reader Ranking Announcement

MDRS is pleased to announce being named 2nd place in the category of Dispute Resolution in Lawyers Weekly’s 2017 Reader Ranking Awards! With a strong finish behind JAMS (the self-proclaimed “largest private ADR provider in the world”), MDRS is truly honored to be recognized as the DR industry leaders we continuously strive to be. Stay…

William F. Quinn, joins the MDRS Panel of Neutrals

We are also very excited to announce the addition of William F. Quinn, Esq. to our panel of neutrals. Bill brings considerable experience specializing for more than 30 years in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate. As a founding shareholder of his firm, Tinti, Quinn, Grover & Frey, P.C., Bill is a highly…

Timothy J. Langella, joins the MDRS Panel of Neutrals

It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of Timothy J. Langella to the MDRS Panel of Neutrals.  Along with considerable experience in business and economic development, Tim brings over 30 years as a litigator, in-house general counsel, and government employee to his now exclusive work in Dispute Resolution. Focusing on both stated interests as well…

The Case for the Joint Opening Session

By Brian Jerome Particularly here in Massachusetts, long-held practice has been to start a mediation with a joint session among all parties and their counsel before breaking into individual private caucuses. A joint session is a meeting facilitated by the mediator where opposing parties and their attorneys face each other and speak directly to each…

The Case for Private Caucus

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq.: After a joint session, the mediator may ask to have private caucuses or meetings with each party and their counsel to further explore their position and flexibility for settlement. These private caucuses, like the full mediation process, are confidential; as such, the parties often find it easier and more appropriate…

Timothy J. Langella, Esq.

Framingham / Boston, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston University School of Law, 1983, J.D., magna cum laude; Williams College, B.A. in Political Science and English, 1980 LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Attorney Langella began his exclusive DR practice in 2015 after a career that included twenty-six years as a trial attorney at two prominent Boston law firms, four years as…

MDRS Consumer Arbitrations with Pre-Dispute Clauses Due Process Minimum Standards

MDRS will administer arbitrations pursuant to mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses between companies and consumers only if the contract arbitration clause and specified applicable rules comply with the following minimum standards of fairness: The arbitration agreement must be reciprocally binding on all parties such that (a) if a consumer is required to arbitrate his or her…

Exceptions to Mediation Confidentiality

by Brian R. Jerome, Esq. In an important decision, the Appeals Court has decided in ZVI Construction Company, LLC v. Levy, et al., (Docket No. 15-P- 359) (Oct. 6, 2016) that Massachusetts should not recognize a “fraud exception” to the confidentiality of mediation among business litigants who were represented by counsel. Judge Cynthia J. Cohen…

Brian Jerome Selected as 2017 Super Lawyer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BRIAN R. JEROME, MDRS Founder and CEO, selected as 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyer DR Industry leader Brian R. Jerome brings valuable knowledge and experience of out-of-court Dispute Resolution to those seeking mediation and arbitration solutions as a means to achieve faster, less frustrating, and more effective resolution to business and personal disputes.…

Celebrate Conflict Resolution Week October 16-22

In 2005, the Association for Conflict Resolution [ACR] designated the third Thursday in October as Conflict Resolution Day, and later, the American Bar Association [ABA] designated the third week of October as Mediation Week.  Over the past decade, many states and other organizations have proclaimed days, weeks, and months in this honor, acknowledging the commendable and empowering…

The Attorney, the Client, and the Mediator

by Brian R. Jerome, Esq. What makes mediation successful?  To answer this, it is important to consider the roles and relationships between a lawyer, their client, and the mediator throughout the mediation process.   Many of us who are attorneys can recall our law school years being focused primarily on developing strong advocacy and trial…

A Giant Leap Forward: Dispute Resolution Drops the ‘A’ and Launches MBA Section

“Over the past decades, no area of practice has grown to have a wider impact on legal operations than dispute resolution.” -Brian Jerome The numbers don’t lie: 95% of pending personal injury lawsuits end in a pretrial settlement (according to Law Dictionary’s website), while legal news site Above the Law reports that only 1.5% of…

Mediate Disputes Between Owners and Trustees

By Jeanne Kempthorne Life in a condominium can be challenging when neighbors do not see eye to eye—and they very often don’t. And when owners and trustees can’t resolve their disagreements, the condominium community suffers. An efficient and effective means of managing disputes is key to avoiding the “condo hell” that causes owners to sue…

Saving $$$$ Divorcing — Financial Statements

By Guest Blogger, Anthony C. Adamopoulos In my over 25 years of helping people facing divorce, I have seen, in almost every divorce, a reoccurring client decision that results in wasting hundreds, and sometimes, thousands of dollars. What is that decision? The decision not to read and follow the court’s instructions on how to complete…

Recent Case Settlements

Brian R. Jerome Rated by Super Lawyers loading … $1,450,000.00 Liquor liability death case against liquor store alleging they sold alcohol to a 20-year-old without asking for identification to confirm his legal age as 21, whereafter, upon leaving a house party, he drove off a roadway causing injuries and death to 18-year-old passenger.  Plaintiff also…

Top Massachusetts Mediation Firm Launches Foreclosure Mediation Program for City of Lynn

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services (MDRS) brings valuable knowledge and experience of out-of- court dispute resolution to City of Lynn Foreclosure Mediation program. Mediation gives Lynn homeowners and their lenders opportunity to explore alternatives to foreclosure. July 9, 2014 – The City of Lynn Foreclosure Mediation Program has been created to give Lynn homeowners and their…

Preeminent ADR Firm Critical of New York Times Arbitration Series

Industry leader Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services (MDRS) brings valuable knowledge and experience of out-of- court dispute resolution to those seeking mediation and arbitration solutions as a means to achieve faster, less frustrating, and more effective resolution to business and personal disputes. December 15, 2015 – The New York Times recently published a three-part series entitled…

MDRS Announces New MBA Dispute Resolution Section

We at MDRS are proud to announce a major leap forward in Massachusetts’s dispute resolution history; namely the MBA’s decision to move forward with plans to create a new Dispute Resolution (DR) Section. We are honored to have played a pivotal role in this decision through the leadership of our founder Brian R. Jerome who…

MDRS Press Releases

October 18, 2016: Brian Jerome Selected as 2017 Super Lawyer December 15, 2015: Preeminent ADR Firm Critical of New York Times Arbitration Series July 9, 2014: Top Massachusetts Mediation Firm Launches Foreclosure Mediation Program for City of Lynn

William F. Quinn, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston University Law School (J. D. 1973): Dartmouth College (B.A. cum laude 1970). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Bill is a founding shareholder of his firm, Tinti, Quinn, Grover & Frey, P.C. in Salem, Massachusetts, one of the premier real estate and business law firms in the region. He is a highly experienced expert in…

Collaborative Law, PEN Focus of MBA ADR Panel

by Attorney Michael A. Zeytoonian Most people who are in a dispute think about mediation or arbitration as alternatives to lawsuits and litigation. But there are several other process choices that people have for how to resolve their disputes. That critical choice of which process to use is often the most important choice people make…

Recent Arbitration Developments April 2016

Arbitration – Judicial review In an important decision, the SJC has ruled that where a defendant has requested that an arbitration award be vacated, the request must be denied despite that the parties’ arbitration agreement contained language authorizing a different standard of judicial review than that mandated by the Massachusetts arbitration statute. “The central question…

MDRS Settlement Days

What’s better than settling a claim? Settling 4-8 of them – all in a SINGLE DAY. MDRS is a leading provider of Settlement Days: mediation-focused marathons conducted at the insurer’s office where 4-8 cases are lined up for time-concentrated sessions with settlement as the primary goal. Secondary in nature, but perhaps equally as critical, are…

Hon. Patricia E. Bernstein (ret.)

EDUCATION: Boston College Law School, J.D. 1976; Connecticut College, B.A. 1970 JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: Judge Bernstein brings over 20 years of judicial experience on the Boston Municipal Court to her mediation and arbitration practice. She has presided over hundreds of civil and criminal cases, including commercial and business disputes, consumer lawsuits, commercial real estate summary process,…

Dispute Resolution Diffuses Explosive Situations

by Sheri Stevens Wilson The Islamic Society of Greater Worcester is seeking town approval to develop a Muslim cemetery on 55 acres it plans to purchase in Dudley, Massachusetts. The group seeks a local option where their burial customs could be followed, which sometimes include ‘green’ burial options, direct contact with the dead, very specific…

Cross-Examine the Case Before Filing a Lawsuit

by Michael A. Zeytoonian, Esq. I think it’s a good idea for people who find themselves in a dispute to do some cross-examining before they file a lawsuit. Sounds odd, right? After all, based on what we know about litigation and how the legal process works from what we see on TV and in the…

Celebrating 25 Years of Dispute Resolution at MDRS

As MDRS celebrates 25 years of providing Dispute Resolution, we reflect on no less than a quarter of a century in our field — a field which has thrived beyond all expectations: no longer a mere alternative to the courts, but widely recognized as a more direct route to positive outcomes for all kinds of disputes. It…

Bracketing Can Break Impasse in Negotiation

by Brian R. Jerome, Esq. Whether parties are negotiating directly with each other or with the assistance of a mediator, a basic axiom is that a case will not settle until the parties are discussing terms within a reasonable settlement range.  When negotiations reach a critical impasse, the possibility of settlement steadily decreases as the…

The Ten Commandments of Mediation Advocacy

by Brian R. Jerome, Esq. The process of mediation can be less formal than a courtroom, but its more relaxed setting does not lessen the importance of preparation and appropriate advocacy to achieve favorable results. Advocacy permeates this process well before the parties enter the mediator’s conference rooms. Attention to detail early on maximizes the prospects of having…

Use an Honorable Engagement Provision

Use an Honorable Engagement provision to make the “steep uphill climb” toward arbitral vacatur improbable. By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Esq. ©2015 In May, the First Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals issued a decision of interest to arbitration practioners. Of exceptional interest is the court’s recognition that when arbitration agreements contain an Honorable…

In Support of … Arbitration

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq. and Jeffrey S. Stern, Esq. A recent three-part series in the New York Times, (Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice October 31, 2015), which spotlighted certain abuses and injustices in particular types of arbitration, has gained wide attention in the ADR community, the broader legal community and with the…

Avoiding Mediation Hazards, and getting to YES!

The expectations of the parties and their counsel or insurer coming into a mediation session play an important role in how successful the mediation process will be. Some cases come to mediation on the eve of or even after a trial, while others arrive before suit is filed or perhaps even before the parties have…

Avoiding Mediation Hazards, and getting to YES!

The expectations of the parties and their counsel or insurer coming into a mediation session play an important role in how successful the mediation process will be. Some cases come to mediation on the eve of or even after a trial, while others arrive before suit is filed or perhaps even before the parties have…

Avoiding Pitfalls During Mediation Settlement

It’s 6 PM after a long mediation and all the participants are cranky and tired…but an agreement on a monetary amount has been reached! The moment the parties heard “yes”, they began packing up their files, but the mediator insists that they stay long enough for him or her to prepare a mediation settlement agreement.…

Avoiding Pitfalls During Mediation Settlement

It’s 6 PM after a long mediation and all the participants are cranky and tired…but an agreement on a monetary amount has been reached! The moment the parties heard “yes”, they began packing up their files, but the mediator insists that they stay long enough for him or her to prepare a mediation settlement agreement.…

Hon. David A. Mills (ret.)

Danvers, Massachusetts EDUCATION Boston College Law School, LLB, 1967; Boston College, BS, cum laude, 1964. LEGAL EXPERIENCE AND PRACTICE FOCUS After graduating from law school, Judge Mills clerked to Hugh H. Bownes, United States Judge in the District of New Hampshire. Judge Mills then served as an assistant district attorney for Middlesex County, then moved on to…

MDRS Welcomes David A. Mills to the Neutral Panel

It is our great pleasure to announce the appointment of Judge David A. Mills to the MDRS Panel of Neutrals. Judge Mills’ remarkable background includes his service at the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 2001 to 2012. He has since then provided case evaluations in appellate matters, trial litigation matters, Single Justice practice, and pre-trial consultatons…

MDRS Welcomes Ralph Cecere to the Neutral Panel

We are so pleased to welcome Attorney Ralph N. Cecere to the MDRS Panel of Neutrals. Attorney Cecere is a seasoned practitioner with over 24 years of experience in the trial court and administrative agencies. He has handled over 200 cases taken to trial in the Superior and District Courts. During his years as a…

Client Testimonials

“I was a skeptic going into it, but Brian’s work reminded me why mediation is always worth a try.  He managed to reason with a party that I simply hadn’t been able to productively communicate with.  My client was comfortable speaking with him, and we both trusted in his neutrality.  I’m sure the insurer felt…

Mediation ruled first step in cyber coverage case

A debate about cyber-coverage has played out in favor of policy-holders in a ruling that requires an Insurer to utilize Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve their dispute. As with any emerging trend, early Court rulings will encourage the introduction of legislature to define how such cases will commonly be handled in the future. It…

The Attorney, The Client, and The Mediator

By Brian Jerome, Esq. Many attorneys recall law school being focused primarily on developing strong advocacy and trial expertise, with less emphasis placed on developing negotiation skills. Litigators rightly pride themselves on strong defensive skills; it is this ability and willingness of an attorney to effectively try their case that creates the opportunity to reach…

Mediation: Achieving Success

How can participants maximize their chances for a successful outcome in mediation? While there are many worthwhile opinions and no shortage of advice, the simple virtue of civility can advance your negotiations in a powerful way. Overlooked in so many cases is the personal factor. There are reports, claims, medical bills, evidence to be collected.…

Divorce Decree Can’t Compel Mediation

In a recent ruling on Ventrice v. Ventrice, a husband and wife could not be compelled to engage in mediation at their own expense as a condition of their being permitted to file actions in the future to enforce or modify the terms of their divorce. The husband argued that his right to free access…

Resolution of Complex Issues Go Beyond Insurance

When people think ADR [Alternative Dispute Resolution], imaginations are sometimes limited to situations having an ultimate financial settlement. While this is in many cases true, MDRS has assisted clients in resolving conflicts well beyond dollar signs. Consider, for example, the family-owned business run for decades by Mom and Dad, now turned Grandma and Grandpa, who…

Sheri Stevens Awarded Excellence in Operations

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services’ Sheri Stevens was recently announced as honoree in Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law’s Category of Excellence in Operations. As Business Manager, Sheri executes and oversees all daily operations at MDRS; we can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly will honor Sheri, as well as honorees…

Ralph N. Cecere, Esq.

Beverly, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts (J.D., 1987); Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts (B.A., Political Science, 1983). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Attorney Ralph N. Cecere has over 24 years of trial experience in the trial court and administrative agencies and has handled over 200 cases taken to trial in the Superior and District Court. He…

What Happens in the (Mediation) Room Stays…

MDRS’ Brian Jerome was recently quoted in the Boston Herald in regards to the now-resolved Market Basket situation.  During a phone interview with the Herald, Brian expressed the importance of confidentiality while in the mediation room.  While his quote was referenced out of context in the published article, the interview brought up an important component…

MDRS Presents ADR Techniques to Nigerian…

MDRS is honored to again have been asked to present on alternative dispute resolution to a high-level delegation from Nigeria visiting the United States seeking out information on ADR so that they can further such implementation in their country. This is the third year that MDRS will have the honor of working with this admirable…

Alternatives to Foreclosure

If you are behind in payments on your mortgage, you may be concerned about the very real possibility of foreclosure. If you are in default on your loan and are considering options that you can take to avoid foreclosure, here are some alternatives to consider. Reinstating Your Mortgage You can reinstate your mortgage by making…

Foreclosure Mediation Fee Schedule

The City of Lynn’s Ordinance designates that a mediation administration, or registration fee, is to be charged to the Mortgagee or its Mortgage Servicer for the services attendant to administering the established Mediation Program. The Ordinance also states that any fees assessed pursuant to this Ordinance shall not be charged to the Mortgagor, or Homeowner.…

Initiation of Foreclosure Mediation Cases

Per the City of Lynn, Massachusetts’ Ordinance to initiate participation in the Foreclosure Mediation Program, lenders must adhere to the following instructions: The Mortgagee shall send a copy of all notices given to a Mortgagor pursuant to M.G.L. c. 244 § 35A(g), (h) which relate to Residential Property in the City, to the City of Lynn c/o…

MDRS Launches Foreclosure Mediation Program

MDRS is excited to bring our valuable knowledge and experience of out-of-court dispute resolution to the City of Lynn Foreclosure Mediation Program. This groundbreaking program has been created to give Lynn homeowners and their lenders an opportunity to find mutually beneficial alternatives to foreclosure. The goals of the program are to prevent foreclosure, keep Lynn…

Recent ADR Developments

Arbitration: Claim against former employee subject to arbitration clause in employment contract Arbitration – Incomplete recording of FINRA Arbitration Hearing Does Not Vacate Award Arbitration – Award vacated due to misapplied State Law Arbitration – Right To Arbitration Not Waived by Delayed Filing Arbitration – Health care proxy Arbitration – Privilege Arbitration – Legal malpractice…

Johnson, et al. v. Kindred Healthcare, Inc., et al.

BARBARA JOHNSON & another,[1] as co-administratrices,[2] vs. KINDRED HEALTHCARE, INC., & others.[3] Plymouth. September 4, 2013. ‑ January 13, 2014. Present: Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ. Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 3, 2011. A motion to stay the proceedings and to compel arbitration was heard…

Musings Of A Longtime Arbitrator

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq. Since I became involved exclusively in providing ADR services in 1991, I have been fortunate enough to have been selected to serve now in over 7,500 cases, both large and small, over a very wide range of disputes, for which I am so grateful. The experiences I have had as…

Opening and Closing Statements at Arbitrations

By Attorney Paul R. Kelley An “old school” lawyer asked me at the start of a personal injury arbitration if he could stand up while making his opening. After years of jury trials, he just wasn’t comfortable sitting down while presenting his case. You don’t have to stand up, but if you are plaintiff’s counsel…

Abraham Lincoln: An Early Champion of ADR

By Associate Justice Dennis J. Curran, Massachusetts Superior Court and Emma Kingdon Our nation continues to be fascinated by Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” delivered 150 years ago. Lincoln’s most famous speech became known as the “words that remade America.” The address of only 272 words overshadowed Edward Everett’s two-hour oration and stunned the crowd of nearly…

If You and Your Lawyer Really Do Want to Negotiate…

By Attorney Michael A. Zeytoonian In every dispute a client calls me in to work to resolve, my first inquiry with the other side is to discuss the possibility of early resolution. If we can explore this option even before any litigation has been initiated, it’s even better. The other side often responds that they too…

To Resolve a Dispute, the First Step is to Assess Your Options

By Attorney Michael A. Zeytoonian I’ve heard people who are in a business or employment dispute often lament: “I’m stuck in this dispute, and now we’ll have to litigate; I have no options.” If you take nothing else from this post, know this: They are usually wrong about this. This is like when a retail sales…

So What is this Different Kind of Legal Advocacy?

By Attorney Michael A. Zeytoonian One reason we changed the name of my own firm recently to Dispute Resolution Counsel was to highlight the role that lawyers play in representing their clients in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes. The role, approach and technique of a lawyer in these situations are different from that of…

Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Scam artists are stealing millions of dollars from distressed homeowners by promising immediate relief from foreclosure, or demanding cash for counseling services when HUD-approved counseling agencies proved the same services for FREE. If you receive an offer, information or advice that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let them take advantage…

Jeanne M. Kempthorne selected for Super Lawyers

We are pleased to announce that one of our distinguished neutrals, Jeanne M. Kempthorne, has been recently selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers 2013 by Thomson Reuters. Super Lawyers is a rating system for lawyers in a range of practice areas that uses a patented multiphase selection method to choose only the best attorneys to…

Lynn United for Change

Lynn United for Change is a community organization dedicated to helping people in foreclosure stay in their homes. There is no charge for the information, support, and legal assistance that the group provides. Many Lynn United for Change volunteers have faced foreclosure themselves, and have been able to hold on to their homes with the…

Foreclosure Mediation Resources

  Foreclosure Prevention Support: Homeowners may obtain support and information by contacting any of the following groups who have received partnership grants from the HomeCorps program: Chelsea Restoration Corporation [provides services to Chelsea, Lynn, Revere, Saugus area] 154 Pearl Street Chelsea, MA 02150 (617) 889-2277 Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders (HOME) [provides services statewide] 87…

Glossary of Terms

Definitions are provided in connection with Massachusetts State Laws and for the understanding of those potentially involved with Foreclosure Mediation Programs. A Affordable Monthly Payment Appraisal B Bankruptcy Borrower Borrower’s Representative C Certain Mortgage Loan Creditor Creditor’s Representative D Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act DU Refi Plus…

Foreclosure Mediation Contacts

  MEDIATION PROGRAM MANAGEMENT Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services 27 Congress Street, Suite 401 Salem, MA 01970 (800) 536-5520 Sheri Stevens Mediation Program Manager sstevens@mdrs.com Brian R. Jerome, Esq. Mediation Program Director bjerome@mdrs.com CITY OF LYNN CONTACTS Michael Barry City of Lynn Solicitor Jim Lamanna Assistant City Solicitor jlamanna@lynnma.gov City Hall and Memorial Auditorium Law Department…

Foreclosure Mediation

Introduction to Foreclosure Mediation: The goal of foreclosure mediation is to enable homeowners and lenders to communicate and negotiate in a non-judgemental and monitored setting. Foreclosure program managers, along with loan counselors, help the parties with education, paperwork exchange, and preparation for the mediation session. When these cases have been prepared for mediation, specially trained…

MEDIATING COMPLEX MULTI-PARTY CASES

The complexity of facts, legal issues, and respective needs and interests involved increase significantly when multiple parties are engaged in a dispute.  Mediation, with its inherent flexibility and unique components, is ideally suited to handle the complexities of multi-party cases.  To understand why this is so, it is important to consider some basic differences between…

Join us at the BBA Brown Bag Seminar on ADR

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, November 14, 2013 for a Boston Bar Association-sponsored seminar on ADR in Premises Liability Cases.  You may know that MDRS has handled into the thousands of these types of cases.  During this lunch-hour seminar at the BBA [16 Beacon Street, Boston], you will learn about what makes premises liability cases well-suited…

Mediating Business Disputes

2015 statistics show there are over 123,000 small businesses (19 employees or less) in Massachusetts, representing some 86% of all firms in the Commonwealth.  Small business owners are as likely as large corporations to become entangled in disputes with their customers, vendors, employees, other businesses or even their own business partners. Unlike many larger corporations,…

Foreclosure Mediation in Massachusetts

Although Foreclosure Mediation programs are not statewide in Massachusetts, three major cities have instituted mandatory programs through city ordinances as a means to help negotiate alternatives to foreclosures.  Through foreclosure mediation, homeowners and lenders engage in guided negotiation with a skilled mediator who is also a foreclosure expert.  Together they work to define new agreements…

Parenting Coordinators: Who are they and what do they do?

By C. Michele Dorsey, Esq. No one who watches the news on television or reads a newspaper would be surprised to learn that the incidence and intensity of family conflict is on the rise. Whether it is because of the economy, the introduction of social media or environmental influences, what we do know is that…

MDRS Spotlight on Premises Liability

According to a recent statistic, the National Safety Council reported that slip and fall accidents account for 1 million visits to the ER per year.  And these account for only a fraction of premises liability cases, which can occur from any injury suffered on property belonging to or maintained by another person or party.  Premises…

Dissolving Business Partnerships with Mediation

When you are involved in a business partnership, it can be daunting to think about severing that critical relationship, however, there are uncounted issues that can lead to the necessary dissolution of a business partnership. Whether it’s simply one party’s loss of interest in the business, a desire to retire, a lack of commitment that…

Practice Areas

MDRS is proud of the extensive and proven expertise of our neutrals.  Following are practice areas in which we have successfully assisted our clients through settlement events via usage of differing DR modalities. ADA Disability Admiralty Agricultural Anti-Trust Appellate Arts (Fine, Performing) Automotive Aviation Banking & Finance Bankruptcy/Creditors Biotech Business Dissolution Civil Litigation Civil Rights…

Premises Liability

The Reality of Premises Liability Cases According to a recent statistic, the National Safety Council reported that slip and fall accidents account for 1 million visits to the ER per year. Slip and fall cases are common occurrences, but that doesn’t diminish the impact that they have on individual lives. Issues of Premises Liability can…

NFL Concussion Case Heads to Mediation

In April 2013, a hearing was held in Philadelphia over litigation filed against the National Football League by more than 4,000 players who allege that concussions suffered during their careers have adversely impacted their health. Plaintiffs include players who want their future health closely monitored, those already suffering from dementia, depression, and/or neurological disorders, and…

Brian R. Jerome on Trial Court Steering Committee

Brian R. Jerome Invited to Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution and the Process Steering Committee for Strategic Planning As a Court Approved ADR Provider, MDRS, specifically our Director, Brian Jerome, was invited by the Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution and the Process Steering Committee for Strategic Planning to attend on May…

Mediation and Arbitration of Premises Liability Cases

Mediation and Arbitration of Premises Liability Cases MDRS has handled a wide array of premises liability cases, that is, accidents that occur on the property of another.  The property involved could be a personal residence, a commercial property or public property.  These accidents account for a significant number of personal injury claims and are particularly…

Karen Thome Guthrie, Esq

Karen Thome Guthrie, Esq. Andover, Massachusetts EDUCATION: New England School of Law (J.D. 1995); Cornell University (B.A. 1988) LEGAL EXPERIENCE:  Karen Thome Guthrie has been a civil litigator in Massachusetts since 1995 and has extensive experience in ADR.  Karen employs a very wide range of experience and is an excellent choice for a great majority…

Neutral Thomas B. Arnold, Esq. is Retiring

As of July 1st, neutral Thomas B. Arnold, Esq. is retiring.  A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mr. Arnold began his law career as a civil litigation attorney before starting his own firm, Arnold & Kangas, PC, in 1983.  During his years as an attorney, he handled a vast range of civil litigation…

Using ADR to Resolve Slip and Fall Accidents

Premise liability occurs when injury is suffered on property belonging to another person or business.  Whether it is the conditions of the land, or activities performed, issues often arise in determining fault. When personal injury occurs it is often the first response to assign causality for the accident, but it can be difficult to prove…

Deaths from Workplace Injuries Honored in Boston

This past April, the Massachusetts State House honored those who died from workplace injuries in 2012. Nearly 100 advocates came together on April 26 in honor of Workers Memorial Day to pay their respects to 32 people who recently lost their lives to workplace injuries.  The numbers have fortunately been on the decline, down from 58 deaths in 2011.…

ADR and Automobile Claims

Founded in 1991, MDRS has perhaps mediated and arbitrated more automobile claims of all types than any other ADR provider in Massachusetts.  Automobile related claims are particularly suited to the processes of alternative dispute resolution, which are designed to meet the parties’ interests in resolving these cases equitably, economically and skillfully, and avoiding the time,…

DR and Automobile Claims

Founded in 1991, MDRS has perhaps mediated and arbitrated more automobile claims of all types than any other DR provider in Massachusetts.  Automobile related claims are particularly suited to the processes of dispute resolution, which are designed to meet the parties’ interests in resolving these cases equitably, economically and skillfully, and avoiding the time, expense,…

MED-ARB: Sculpting the ADR Process To The Case

Both mediation and arbitration are now familiar and popular ADR processes used to resolve an ever broadening array of disputes. Over the past years, these two processes have literally transformed the legal landscape such that parties and their counsel are viewing ADR as a more appropriate manner of resolving disputes than is offered by Courts.…

Recent Cases in ADR – April 2013

Keep updated on the most recent cases and latest developments in Alternative Dispute Resolution.  What’s new this April?  Find out here. Arbitration – Arbitration Clause in Employee Handbook Not Enforceable.  The plaintiff brought suit alleging that her employer, its owner and her former supervisor interfered with her request for maternity leave under the Family and…

MED-ARB: Sculpting the ADR Process To The Case

Both mediation and arbitration are now familiar and popular ADR processes used to resolve an ever broadening array of disputes. Over the past years, these two processes have literally transformed the legal landscape such that parties and their counsel are viewing ADR as a more appropriate manner of resolving disputes than is offered by Courts.…

MEDIATION/ARBITRATION [MED/ARB] AGREEMENT [SAMPLE]

The undersigned parties, attorneys and/or representatives, and participants agree to participate and commit themselves to first a mediated negotiation of the issues involved in this matter and, should resolution not be reached, to proceed to a binding arbitration.  We agree to employ the services of [neutral’s name], who agrees to serve as both mediator and…

Recent Cases and Developments in ADR – April 2013

Arbitration – Arbitration Clause in Employee Handbook Not Enforceable The plaintiff brought suit alleging that her employer, its owner and her former supervisor interfered with her request for maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and retaliated against her by passing her over for promotion and demoting her to a part-time position. The…

MDRS About Town

This Spring, Brian Jerome has helped lead a variety of ADR-related events in the Boston area.  Here are a few of the places where he has been. In March, Brian participated in, and helped present, a Mediator Training Program at Salem Bar Advocates with Attorney Michael Merriam. In February, Brian helped present an Insurance Training…

ADR for Auto Accidents

  Proving fault in an automobile accident with another vehicle is often difficult. The circumstances surrounding car accidents vary greatly and each involves unique elements that should be examined. If you are involved in an automobile accident, you may be in shock and unable to fully process what is going on around you.  It is…

ADR for Prescription Drug Errors

  According to the Institute of Medicine, medication errors affect more than 1.5 million Americans each year in hospitals alone. Similarly, in a study published by the Journal of American Pharmacists Association in 2003, it was found that American pharmacies make over 30 million drug administration errors a year. Errors can occur for a multitude…

Massachusetts Caregiver Homes

For many families, caring for a family member who is disabled or elderly can be a financial and emotional burden. Often it could seem that placing a disabled family member in a nursing home is the easiest route to take. However, in Massachusetts there is an alternative solution. Founded in 2005, a program of MassHealth…

Looking for Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

  Taking care of aging parents is a difficult job.  Turning to adult day care and nursing homes for assistance are sometimes unavoidable arrangements.  This decision is often times inescapable – whether it is because of hectic work schedules, caring for young children, or medical handicaps that make home care impossible.  At MDRS, we understand…

Focus on Elderly and Nursing Home Abuse Cases

One of the most common types of cases or disputes that we help to resolve are cases involving elderly nursing home abuse or neglect. One of the challenges involved in these cases is that often times if there is an abuse or mistreatment, the injured parties often suffer from a loss of trust.  It is…

Mediation Didn’t Spoil the Twinkies

  Unless you stocked up in November or have been trolling the snack food selection on eBay, it has been quite some time since you last bit into a Twinkie.  But lucky for junk food aficionados, that spongy yellow delicacy may be back in time for summer. Last November, Hostess, the original manufacturer of the…

MDRS March Newsletter is Out

We sent our spring newsletter out last week. Please let us know if you would like us to add you to the list. Please contact us at caseadmin @mdrs.com

MDRS Welcomes New Neutral, James Purcell

  Jim has a long involvement with ADR both as a practicing attorney and as the CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI.  As a trial lawyer, Jim represented clients in mediations and arbitrations.  He was a charter member of the ADR Panel of the US District Court for the District of RI…

Recent Cases Involving ADR — February 2013

Arbitration – Loss of use damages Where the plaintiffs appeal from a decision reducing an arbitrator’s award for loss of use damages from $120,000 to $4,500, the reduction of damages must be reversed, as (1) the award for loss of use was within the arbitrators’ authority and (2) it is too late for the defendant…

Working with today’s students, tomorrow’s lawyers

Remembering law school can invoke memories across the spectrum, from being overwhelmed to learning about all the things that first excited us about the law.  Attorney Brian Jerome regularly invites local law students to observe real-life mediations and arbitrations.  Today’s students are very well prepared by their professors, ask all the right questions, and are…

Resolving Nursing Home Liability Cases with ADR

The number of Americans age 65 and older is expected to double in the next thirty years. With advances in medicine and an increased life expectancy rate, that estimate may be low. Some forty-five percent of the U.S. population now sixty-five or older will reside in nursing homes before they die.  Of the baby boom…

MDRS Appointed ADR Provider to the Superior Court

We are pleased to announce that MDRS has been approved to serve both the Superior Court and the Land Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a court-connected provider to their Alternative Dispute Resolution programs. It is an honor to have been chosen for these three-year terms, and we are looking forward to assisting the…

James E. Purcell, Esq.

Hyannis, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Undergraduate Education: Cornell University (1967) AB History; Cornell Baseball all four years, Captain of Freshman team (1964) and of Varsity team (1967); MVP (1966); Tapped member of Junior and Senior Men’s Athletic Honoraries (Red Key and Sphinx Head). Military: Graduated Infantry Officer Candidate School (12/68) and commissioned 2d lieutenant; completed Airborne training…

2012 International Arbitration Survey

The 2012 International Arbitration Survey: Current and Preferred Practices in the Arbitral Process is an empirical study regarding the field of international arbitration. The survey is the fourth in a series of surveys conducted by the School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). The survey focuses on the views of in-house…

Tips for Selecting a Neutral

Mediators and Arbitrators are neutral facilitators in disputes between parties. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) like mediation and arbitration requires a neutral person, often called simply a Neutral, who adheres to the strict requirements of the mediation and arbitration processes. ADR, we’ve mentioned, is the best choice for most cases, in practically every industry and family…

Negotiating Family Disputes over the Holidays

While the holiday season is often filled with joy and precious family time, it can also be a stressful time of the year. Aside from making holiday travel plans and scrambling to buy gifts on time, people often worry about butting heads with family members during the holiday festivities. Sensitive topics may range from personal…

ADR in the Trial Court – December 2012

Court-Connected ADR is governed by the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution, Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:18, which took effect in 1999, and are designed to offer litigants more options in resolving disputes. There are seven ADR processes defined in the Uniform Rules: arbitration,  conciliation, case evaluation, dispute intervention, mediation, mini trial and summary jury trial.…

Don’t Fear the Unknown

By Joseph S. Berman, Esq. When lawyers agree to mediate a case, one of the first issues they face is choosing a mediator.   They exchange names of potential neutrals, looking to secure an “advantage” in the right person.  One criteria is often whether a mediator is supposedly a “defense” or “plaintiff” attorney.  I believe that…

Baseball Arbitration Isn’t Just for Baseball

By Jeffrey S Stern In 1966, Marvin Miller, a labor economist with various unions, became the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, serving in the position until 1982. No less an authority than Red Barber has said that Miller, along with Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, are among the “two or three…

Allocating Damages After Curry

As you may know, Curry v. The American Insurance Company, 80 Mass. App. 592 (2011) is a decision that has altered and helped facilitate settlements of third-party claims by workers injured in the course of their employment.  In Curry, the Appeals Court ruled that though workers’ compensation insurers’ rights to reimbursement extend to medical expenses…

Mediation Settlement Day

Mediation Settlement Day was held in New York State on Thursday, October 18, 2012. Mediation Settlement Day is an annual event organized by a coalition of over 100 organizations with the purpose of creating awareness about the benefits of mediation as well as the resources available to those who need it. On Mediation Settlement Day,…

Mediation Training in the Workplace

It’s said that employees who have a high rate of job satisfaction enjoy the people they work with. This probably has a lot to do with the communication style in the workplace. One way to improve how employees feel about work is to take a look at the process for when problems arise. Is the…

ADR Pioneer Roger Fisher Dies

Roger Fisher, a pioneer in the field of international law and negotiation and the co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project, died on August 25, 2012. He was 90 years old. A professor at Harvard Law School for more than four decades, Fisher established negotiation and conflict resolution as a field deserving academic study and devoted…

Recent Decisions and Developments Involving ADR – October 2012

Arbitration clause in Bill of Lading not enforceable The plaintiffs alleged that a shipment of fruit from Morocco to New Bedford arrived in moldy condition. A defendant who chartered the vessel sought a stay or dismissal to allow for arbitration. However, the Court found that the plaintiffs were not bound by the arbitration clause and…

Mediation: It Pays To Be Civil

By Brian R. Jerome Over the past 25 years I have had the distinct pleasure to serve as mediator in a large number of cases involving a wide variety of subject matters and I have had the opportunity to observe the differing demeanors, styles and presentations of parties, their attorneys, insurance and business representatives and…

NADN Membership for Brian Jerome

The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), an invitation-only association of exceptional Alternative Dispute Resolution professionals, has announced the induction of Brian R. Jerome, Esq. to its esteemed group. The NADN recognizes mediators and arbitrators who have met stringent practice criteria, and whom stand out among firm- and peer-reviews. The Academy has made its directory of…

MDRS Calendar

  Your Browser Require FRAMES, Click Link Below     Click for Printable Summary of Available Dates Please note the Calendar above is only for Brian Jerome and not for all of the panel members. Please call Sheri Stevens at (800) 536-5520 to determine alternate neutrals’ availability.  

Business and Pleasure: The City of Salem

You may already know that Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services has two locations. One in Boston, MA right in downtown at 60 State Street and the other in Salem, MA on Congress Street near the waterfront. Summer is a great time to visit the city of Salem. Why not consider a little rest and relaxation after…

Recent Decisions Involving ADR – August 2012

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq. Arbitration – Fee dispute Where a Superior Court judge confirmed an arbitration award that resolved a fee dispute between the plaintiff and the defendant law firm, the arbitrator did not refuse to hear material evidence, so the confirmation order should be affirmed. “… [Defendant] Goodwin [Procter] moved to exclude evidence…

Mediation Confidentiality: Who, What, Where, When, How?

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq. What Happens in Vegas… Confidentiality is at the heart of a mediation session and is critical to a successful resolution.  The parties must be assured that they can share sensitive information at the session, where it is necessary to see that their true needs and interests may be met, without…

Practical Tips For A Successful Mediation

By Paul R. Kelley, Esq. Ten years ago I decided to become a mediator. While I still loved the thrill of the jury trial, particularly the moment when the clerk asks, “Has the jury reached a verdict?” I was less enamored with preparing a case all weekend long because I was the first case out, only…

Recent Decisions Involving ADR – June 2012

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq. SJC rules on mediation as practice of law  “We address whether an attorney (petitioner) whose resignation from the practice of law was accepted as a disciplinary sanction may now work, either for pay or on a volunteer basis, as a mediator. We conclude that, although mediation does not in all…

Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

A mandatory arbitration agreement that a man signed on his mother’s behalf when she was admitted to a nursing home did not bar his wrongful death suit against the facility, a Superior Court judge has ruled. The nursing home argued the plaintiff signed a mandatory arbitration agreement under a health care proxy executed by his…

Portland Public Schools Arbitration

Portland Public Schools were ordered to pay high school teachers a week’s extra pay by arbitrator William Reeves. The decision was made after teachers in the school district were forced to take on additional classes and students, effectively working a combined $750, 000 for nothing. According to Reeves, the increase in students teachers gain must directly…

Key Differences in Compromising and Collaborating

Compromising and collaborating can have similar outcomes when applied to the mediation process, each helps disputing parties meet their individual goals. But while the ideas are similar, they’re not interchangeable. One key difference is this: when parties compromise, they have only some of their individual goals and needs met; but when parties collaborate, each party’s expectations…

Consumer Arbitration

Found in the fine print of many cellphone, computer, car, and job contracts are terms and conditions including the waiver of a right to file a lawsuit in place of arbitration.  Most of the time this provision is never invoked but a growing number of job seekers and consumers are realizing that if something does…

Words of Wisdom Imparted by MDRS Experts!

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services is now featuring articles and interviews by members of our Panel of Neutrals, “Words of Wisdom.” Here’s a brief excerpt from our most recent article, A Trial Lawyer’s Experience as a Mediator: A Few Brief Lessons, written by MDRS Neutral Thomas W. Porter: On the first day of practice as a trial…

Baseball (Pendulum) Arbitration

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq. On the morning before a scheduled record breaking salary arbitration hearing last week, designated hitter, David Ortiz, 36, and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year contract worth $14,575,000. The deal was midway between the $16.5 million he asked for last month and the $12.65 million submitted by the Red…

Understanding Divorce Arbitration and Mediation

By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Esq. For those facing divorce, they might feel a lot of uncertainty.  The following information is provided to help your clients make informed decisions about what type of divorce process might be best for all of the parties involved. What is Divorce Arbitration? Arbitration is one of the many processes used…

“Baseball” Arbitration in Boston

On the morning before a scheduled record breaking salary arbitration hearing last week, designated hitter, David Ortiz, 36, and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year contract worth $14,575,000. The deal was midway between the $16.5 million he asked for last month and the $12.65 million submitted by the Red Sox, which matched his 2011…

A Trial Lawyer’s Experience as a Mediator: A Few Brief Lessons

By Thomas W. Porter, Jr., Esq. On the first day of practice as a trial lawyer, my boss told me about the different cross-examination styles of the partners.  He spoke of one, a very devout Catholic, as a pugilist.  He would just come out swinging.  The witnesses would see the blows coming, but there was…

It’s an Arbitration for Ortiz

According to a recent Boston Herald article, David Ortiz has agreed to an arbitration hearing, unlike many of his teammates, as a means to resolve the dispute between his requested annual salary ($16.5 million) and the $12.5 million counter-offer by the Red Sox. Both parties will have an opportunity to present evidence in support of…

New Year’s (Dispute) Resolution

Not everyone likes to make resolutions for the new year. It can even be a matter of contention in some households: why should I bother; how can a symbolic date generate legitimate self-improvement? But while gym membership renewals and swearing off holiday cakes are commonly regarded as the right start to the new year, could…

Occupy Mediation

The Occupy Wall Street movement that has been spreading across the country has been a hub for civil protest and ideas, as well as alternative dispute resolution services. Occupy Boston in particular was built on a sound foundation of peaceful protest and mediation. Protesters have been involved in ADR cases with the City, the Boston…

The Attorney, the Client and the Mediator

By Brian R. Jerome, Esq. What makes a mediation successful?  To answer this it is important to consider the roles and relationships between a lawyer, his or her client and the mediator throughout the mediation process. Many of us who are attorneys, particularly those of us with more “senior” or “grey haired” status, can recall…

Interview with an ADR Expert

Featuring Richard T. Corbett, Esq. 1. Is there anything personal about you, your schooling, family, or other subject that you would like to share in this interview? In three years there may be another Corbett by the bar. My son Jeffrey is a first year law student at Boston College Law School! 2. When and why…

A Season for Resolution

The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends, to express gratitude for your good fortune and to reflect on improvements you want to make. Ideally, these are things we do on a regular basis; sometimes, however, “life gets in the way.” It’s easy to get caught up in the rigors of daily…

To Stay or Not to Stay (at the Divorce Hotel)

For approximately $3,500, couples can stay at a luxury hotel in The Netherlands and enjoy room service, beautiful scenery, and…a divorce. The idea for a “divorce hotel” was developed by Dutch entrepreneur Jim Halfens as a celebrity divorce destination. A team of lawyers, divorce mediators, and counselors, as well as the regular hotel staff, help…

Transformative Resolve: ADR for your health

Holding a grudge and feeling resentment toward someone who injures you is a natural feeling for most individuals, but it can lead to problems, especially during alternative dispute resolution.  Most people who hold a grudge do so until they receive an apology or compensation for what ails them, but this attitude can be very counterproductive…

Transparency in Mediation

An important factor in alternative dispute resolution is the manner in which each party handles the exchange of relevant information. The litigation process is known for concealing relevant information from opposing parties; however, new legal transparencies and software make it difficult to “hide” information. Mediation is a very straight-forward and transparent process at its core,…

MDRS ADR and Mediation Video

Please enjoy a short video, also featured on YouTube here, in which I talk about the advantages of mediation and alternative dispute resolution. – Brian Jerome

3rd Annual New England ADR & the Law

This year’s New England ADR & the Law Conference is being held at the Boston MCLE Conference Center, Monday, October 24 at 1pm.  This year’s keynote speaker is Davis Matz, Esq., a partner at The Mediation Group in Brookline and a professor of conflict resolution at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. MDRS is looking…

The Plain Language Movement in ADR

A discussion about  legal “jargon” is often met with a quote by Jane M. Siegel, a professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School: “there is no freedom or justice when the language of law and government is incomprehensible to a country’s citizens.”  Similar opinions have spurred the plain language movement in the law profession, and the need…

Mediation Tips and Strategies!

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Below is a link to an article highlighting mediation tips and strategies offered by MDRS, one of the original mediation and alternative dispute resolution firms in Massachusetts. We have over 20 years of experience and are pleased to share a few important things we’ve learned with you. Click here for PDF. Let…

Winning Strategies and Practice Tips in Mediation

Winning Strategies and Practice Tips in Mediation Having had the privilege of serving as mediator or arbitrator in over 7000 cases since 1990, I have had the opportunity to observe the varied strategies, presentations and practices of thousands of individual parties, their attorneys, business representatives and insurance claims handlers in presenting their case for resolution…

MBA CLE Mediation Program

The Massachusetts Bar Association CLE Program, Shuttle Diplomacy: Winning Your Mediation During the Private Sessions, is “designed for both plaintiff and defense lawyers who regularly mediate or for those just getting into the game.” I am pleased to be a part of an experienced faculty team whose goal it is to help the continuing of…

Bette J. Roth Offers Sound Advice to the Legal Community

Bette J. Roth, a mediator and arbitrator who also teaches mediation at Boston University School of Law, is a member of the MDRS Panel of Neutrals. Ms. Roth’s “10 tips for effective – and ethical – negotiation” was recently featured in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. As business counsel and mediator, Ms. Roth emphasizes the importance of…

“Talking About the Law” with MDRS Founder Brian Jerome

It was a pleasure speaking with Bob Flynn yesterday on his excellent radio show, “Talking About the Law.” If you didn’t catch it or want to pass it on, please click here for the audio. Thanks again to Bob Flynn, and the crew at WCRN 830 AM! -Brian Jerome

The Neutral Neutral

One of the first questions that clients ask when they’re considering alternative dispute resolution services like mediation and arbitration, is how a panel member or mediator can remain neutral. Each party thinks it’s correct; therefore, each party believes the neutral should “side” with it. During the dispute, however, parties usually realize the panel member’s neutrality…

Court Battle or Alternative Dispute Resolution?

In almost all areas of dispute, mediation and arbitration are excellent means to resolve it. There is one instance when ADR isn’t necessarily the best direction to take:  when the dispute involves creation of new law. Save this rare exception, ADR has four distinct advantages over litigation and should be seriously considered prior to any court…

Alternative Dispute Resolution Can Help You Move Forward

Within the ADR field, especially in the areas of divorce and family law, there may come a time when parties begin fighting with each other–one party yells, the other yells back: “stop living in the past!” This accusation is a sign that the party is “acting out” of his or her emotions.  A mediator or…

ADR: Resolved to Strike a Balance

A common issue comes up regarding alternative dispute resolution agreements is that they either go too far or that they don’t go far enough.  Sometimes we hear that dispute resolution agreements are weighted to advance the drafting party, or that the resolution process doesn’t take full advantage of the opportunity to mediate and arbitrate fairly.…

Bankruptcy Disputes and ADR

Today’s economy is challenging, and as a result Alternative Dispute Resolution has been incorporated into bankruptcy and foreclosure law.   Because bankruptcy lawyers are often working under strict deadlines, ADR can be an good alternative to litigation. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998 now “requires each federal district court, authorized by local rule, to…

Brian Jerome on The Radio {rescheduled}

Today’s radio show has been rescheduled for August 18, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. Look for more information about Brian Jerome’s appearance on WCRN on this blog in the coming weeks. “Talking about the Law” WCRN AM Radio 830 Sponsored by Flynn Law Firm, PC Brian Jerome of Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services in Boston, MA will be a…

Massachusetts Homeowners Demand Foreclosure Mediation

Massachusetts resident Monica Jarvis told reporters that she bought her home for $400,000 but fell prey to a predatory lender who forced her to seek a mortgage modification that will force her to pay approximately $1 million by the time she pays off the mortgage. Jarvis said she fears she won’t be able to retire…

ADR: Business Disputes Benefit from Mediation and Arbitration

ADR is often utilized in business disputes because it offers more than a cold-hard decision. Alternative Dispute Resolution services shine in the business industry because, more often than not, the underlying cause of a dispute is rooted in economic issues, not necessarily legal issues. ADR has been integrated into business disputes in various forms, including…

Swampscott

Once a part of Lynn and Saugus, the town of Swampscott was settled in 1629 and incorporated in 1852. Located today in Essex County and the North Shore, Swampscott has become quite the affluent town with spectacular views of Massachusetts Bay and Nahant Bay. Swampscott is made up of three villages: Beach Bluff, Phillips Point,…

Salem

Salem: the witch city. The city that hundreds of years ago sent bolts of fear shooting through its Puritan residents as the witch trials battled on around them. People today still come in droves so to see the place depicted in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. It is a place where religious fervor trumped the mind’s…

Peabody

Originally settled in 1626 and then incorporated in 1629 as a part of Salem, Peabody has gone through its share of changes. The town eventually broke off from Salem and then from Danvers, before finally changing its name from South Danvers to Peabody in 1868. It was not until 1916 that Peabody was incorporated as…

Marblehead

Nestled alongside Massachusetts Bay and Salem Harbor, the town of Marblehead has become well known for its fishing industry and as one of the foremost yachting communities in the nation, particularly with its claim as being the birthplace of the American Navy. Marblehead was originally inhabited by the Naumkeag tribe and called Massebequash, though the…

Danvers

Located on the Danvers River in Essex County, and near the northeastern coast of Massachusetts is the residential town of Danvers. Most well-known for its association with the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, Danvers was settled in 1636 as Salem Village, and then later incorporated and renamed Danvers in 1757. The history of Danvers is littered…

Agreement for Binding Arbitration [SAMPLE]

The undersigned being the parties at interest in the above matter agree to submit the dispute now pending between them to binding arbitration. The parties agree that [neutral’s name] will serve as arbitrator and decide the matter. A. The parties agree that the MDRS Arbitration Rules shall govern all proceedings related to this arbitration. B.…

Agreement for Binding High-Low Arbitration [SAMPLE]

The undersigned being the parties at interest in the above matter agree to submit the dispute now pending between them to binding high-low arbitration. The parties agree that [neutral’s name] will serve as arbitrator and decide the matter. A. The parties agree that the MDRS Arbitration Rules shall govern all proceedings related to this arbitration.…

Confidential High-Low Agreement [SAMPLE]

THIS DOCUMENT IS TO BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL BY THE PARTIES. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN TO YOUR DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROVIDER WITHOUT AGREEMENT/CONSENT OF ALL PARTIES The undersigned being the parties at interest in this matter have agreed to submit the dispute now pending between them to MDRS and have entered into a separate Agreement for Binding…

Mediation Agreement [SAMPLE]

We, the undersigned parties, attorneys and/or representatives, and participants agree to participate and commit themselves to a mediated negotiation of the issues involved in this matter. We agree to employ the services of [neutral’s name] who agrees to serve as mediator of our dispute.  We have received the MDRS Mediation Guidelines and agree that they…

Christopher P. Kauders, Esq.

Boston, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston College (J.D., M.B.A.); Northwestern University (Bachelor’s Degree). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Christopher Kauders is one of the region’s most experienced and effective mediators and arbitrators. Since 1987, he has settled thousands of disputes involving practice areas including: banking, business, Chapter 93A, construction, disability, discrimination, divorce (Rule 8 certified), eminent domain, employment, family law, family financial disputes…

Providence Hearing Location

MDRS provides a hearing location in Providence, Rhode Island, for our clients’ dispute resolutions.  For more than 20 years, Massachusetts Dispute Resolution  Services has been a leader in Alternative Dispute Resolution. 72 South Main Street Providence, RI 02903 (401)-751-0640 Map and directions to 72 S. Main Street Providence, RI 02903  

Worcester Hearing Location

The Worcester Hearing Location office, part of the Worcester Plaza on Main Street in Worcester, Massachusetts, is easily accessible by public transportation.  MDRS Strives to provide a comfortable setting for mediation and arbitration hearings at convenient locations throughout Massachusetts and in Rhode Island. 446 Main Street Worcester, MA 01608 (508)-752-0640 Map and directions to 446 Main…

Springfield Hearing Location

Our Springfield Hearing Location office is located in a comfortable and professional facility near Center Square. MDRS is offers exceptional dispute resolution services including mediation and arbitration at this centrally located office in historic Springfield. One Monarch Place 1414 Main Street Springfield, MA 01144 (413)-746-8100 Map and directions to One Monarch Place 1414 Main Street, Springfield, MA…

Chelmsford Hearing Location

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services’ hearing location in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is conveniently located in Central Square. Chelmsford Center is a Massachusetts Historic District about 30 miles northwest of Boston. MDRS provides exceptional mediation and arbitration to our clients. 221 Chelmsford Street Chelmsford, MA 01824 (978)-682-2116 Map and directions to  221 Chelmsford Street, Chelmsford, MA 01824  

Salem Hearing Location

The Salem Hearing Location Office is located near Salem’s beautiful waterfront. Our Salem office is accessible by the MBTA Commuter Train and the Salem Ferry, and under a half an hour’s drive from Boston.  Salem, Massachusetts has a deeply interesting history and is a positive setting for dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration. MDRS has provided exceptional Alternative Dispute Resolution services…

Mini-Trial / Summary Jury

Both of these processes can be either binding or non binding, depending upon the agreement of the parties.  Both processes involve a summarized presentation of the evidence in a dispute to a panel composed of either experienced neutrals (mini-trial) or a lay jury (summary jury trial).  Generally the evidence is presented in summary form by…

Med/Arb

Med/arb is a combination of mediation and arbitration, in which the parties agree in advance that they will mediate their case, but if the dispute is not resolved through mediation, they will proceed with a binding arbitration. The parties will agree in advance whether their mediator will serve also as their arbitrator if the dispute…

Case Evaluation

Case evaluation is a process where the parties agree to present a summary of their case to a neutral evaluator for their opinion regarding the likely outcome if the case were adjudicated.  The opinion of the evaluator is not binding on the parties.  It’s value is to encourage subsequent settlement, and the neutral is generally…

Why Use ADR

Although ADR is worth considering in most cases, there are certain cases where ADR is clearly better suited than others. The issue confronting parties, attorneys, businesses and insurance representatives is whether ADR offers some advantage over the ordinary course of negotiation, litigation, pretrial discovery and the costs, frustration and uncertainty involved in trial to resolve…

Founder and President

Attorney Brian R. Jerome was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and is a 1972 graduate of Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is a 1980 magna cum laude graduate from New England Law in Boston, Massachusetts. He thereafter worked as an attorney at Parker, Coulter, Daley and White in Boston and later was in private practice…

Thank You

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William J. Hamilton, Esq.

Lowell, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Suffolk Law School,  Boston (J.D cum laude); University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Bachelors degree, Business Management). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: He is licensed to practice law in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association. Attorney Hamilton has taken over 250 cases to trial in the Superior and District…

Arbitration Rules

1. APPLICABILITY OF RULES The parties agree that these rules shall govern all arbitration proceedings before MDRS. The parties may modify these rules by agreement between them, so long as such modified rules are consistent with applicable laws. The parties shall notify MDRS of any agreed modifications to these rules prior to the arbitration hearing.…

Sandor Rabkin, Esq.

Lynn, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Suffolk University Law School (J.D.1975); University of Massachusetts at Amherst (B.A. 1971). PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Sandor Rabkin  is currently with Demakis Law Offices (1996 to Present).  Previously, he held the following positions: Niarcho & Toto (1995 to 1996), where he was involved in extensive range of tort and workers compensation matters; Mahoney, Kiley, Szulkin & Steward (1988…

Thomas W. Porter, Jr., Esq.

Boston, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston University School of Law (J.D. 1974); Union Theological Seminary, (M.Div. cum laude 1969); Yale University (B.A. English 1966). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Thomas Porter concentrates his practice on the litigation of general and complex matters, and church and religious matters. He also performs mediation services for general and complex litigation cases. Mr. Porter is a member of…

Cases and Clients

Types of Cases MDRS Resolves: While virtually any dispute can be submitted to Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services, our areas of concentration include: General Liability, personal injury and product liability cases. A full range of insurance claims, including automobile and UM coverage. Business, contract, employment and commercial disputes. Professional Malpractice cases. Real Estate & Construction Disputes.…

Mediation Guidelines

1. REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL Any party may either represent himself or be represented by an attorney or other authorized representative at a mediation session before MDRS. 2. MEDIATION AGREEMENT Mediation is voluntarily entered into by both parties. Prior to the commencement of the mediation session, the parties and their counsel or authorized representatives shall agree…

Elliott J. Mahler, Esq.

Dedham, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston College Law School (L.L.B. 1961); Boston College (B.S. 1958). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Elliott Mahler is currently Of Counsel at Avratin Law Offices (2006 – present).  Mahler was Of Counsel at Barron & Stadfeld, P.C. beginning in 1995.  Before that, he held the following positions: Partner, Todd & Weld (1992 – 1995); Partner, Davis, Malm &…

Brian R. Jerome, Esq.

Printable PDF of Attorney Jerome’s bio. Boston / Salem, Massachusetts EDUCATION: New England Law, Boston, Massachusetts (magna cum laude 1980); Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts (1972). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Attorney Brian R. Jerome, Founder and CEO of Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mr. Jerome worked as an attorney at Parker, Coulter, Daley and White in Boston and later…

Charles W. Goddard, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston University School of Law (L.L.B. Cum Laude 1963); Boston College (A.B. Cum Laude 1960). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Attorney Goddard is a partner at Goddard, Scuteri & Delaney (1991 to present). He represents both plaintiffs and defendants principally in civil litigation and personal injury law matters; Costello, Frattaroli, Barrett, Gonthier & Goddard, P.C. (1988-1991); Private…

Thomas Delaney, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston College Law School (J.D. cum laude 1984); Boston College (B.A. magna cum laude 1987). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Goddard, Scuteri & Delaney (1991 to present), Partner; Costello, Frattaroli, Barrett, Gonthier & Goddard, P.C. (1989-1991); Associate; Essex County District Attorney’s Office (1987 to 1988), Assistant District Attorney. Attorney Delaney has also served as an arbitrator and mediator…

Thomas J. Alexander, Esq.

Beverly, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts (Masters of Laws in Taxation 1986); Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts. (J.D. 1981, Deans List 1979, 1980, 1981); Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. (B.A. 1976). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Alexander, Femino & Lauranzano, (1968 to present), Partner of general practice of law specializing in real estate development, municipal law,…

Case Submission

Instructions: To submit a case to MDRS you can call us at 800-536-5520 and submit your case information by telephone OR you can complete the following electronic form and email it to us with a single click of the ‘SUBMIT’ button below. Upon receipt, we will contact you to finalize the case submission, answer any…

Fact Finding Hearings

In certain disputes it may be advantageous for parties to engage an impartial fact-finder to conduct a hearing.  Skilled in the specific area of law involved in their dispute, the fact-finder hears witnesses, reviews documents and evidence as presented by the parties, and renders a written finding. Depending upon the agreement of the parties, these…

Mini Trials

Presided over by one or more highly qualified attorneys or retired judges selected by the parties, a mini-trial is a summarized presentation of a civil trial.   A verdict is issued that is non-binding on the parties. The process has been used effectively in complex cases as an informational guide to yield subsequent settlement.

Arbitration

As in most states, Massachusetts law allows parties to choose arbitration, rather than trial in the court system, to reach final resolution of their disputes.  Parties agree on an impartial arbitrator with training and experience in the specific area of law involved in the dispute. The arbitrator conducts a hearing in which parties present witnesses,…

High-Low Arbitration

MDRS encourages parties to consider this format, which is designed to minimize the risks of both parties in proceeding to binding arbitration. Without disclosure to the arbitrator selected, parties agree in writing to a minimum and maximum arbitration award. After hearing the case, the decision of the arbitrator is binding but can be no greater…

Mediation

Informal and non-adversarial, the non-binding procedures of mediation consist of parties agreeing upon an impartial mediator to hear the relevant facts of a dispute and the position of each party. Mediators are trained and experienced in assisting parties through the achievement of their own negotiated dispute resolution.  Approximately 95% percent of the disputes submitted to…

Hearing Locations

MDRS has a beautiful hearing location in Salem, Massachusetts [@Shetland Park] on the North Shore Waterfront.  Click on these links for details about our office: Salem Because your comfort is important to us, we also offer the option of meeting in any location that is acceptable to all parties.  Travel fees may apply beyond our…

FAQ’S

What are the Advantages of ADR? Cost Savings  The primary reason why litigation is so expensive in Massachusetts is well known:  pre-trial discovery and discovery-related motion practice.  According to a recent study of the federal courts by the Brookings Institute, 60% of the cost of litigation is attributable solely to pre-trial discovery.  Further, the cost…

Contact

Click here for maps and directions to our offices. Telephone (800) 536-5520 FAX (978) 741-2368 Email our Founder and CEO, Attorney Brian R. Jerome at bjerome@mdrs.com Email our Director of Marketing and Operations, Sheri Wilson at swilson@mdrs.com Email our Client Coordinator, Katrina Rapa at katrina@mdrs.com Or you can use the email function below:

Rules and Guidelines

MDRS ARBITRATION RULES 1. APPLICABILITY OF RULES The parties agree that these rules shall govern all arbitration proceedings before MDRS. The parties may modify these rules by agreement between them, so long as such modified rules are consistent with applicable laws. The parties shall notify MDRS of any agreed modifications to these rules prior to…

Panel of Neutrals

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services offers parties a select panel of professional mediators and arbitrators who are experienced attorneys or retired judges. Our neutrals have substantive knowledge of the area of law involved in your case, experience in deciding an arbitration matter based upon the evidence and the law, and the mediation skills to assist the parties…

About

Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services (MDRS) provides a full range of out-of-court mediation and arbitration services to private individuals, attorneys, business, labor and the insurance community. Founded in 1991, MDRS is one of the first ADR providers in Massachusetts.  To date we have resolved more than ten thousand cases for our clients. Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services provides…

DR Videoconferencing: Fitting the Forum to COVID-19

As published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly The COVID-19 virus is affecting us all both personally and professionally. As of this writing, courts and many borders are closed, travel has been severely restricted, and even physical contact with one another is being discouraged (i.e., social distancing). All attorneys are now challenged with how to best represent their…

Strumski, Jr

Joseph F. Strumski, Jr is a partner in the Law Firm of Strumski & Woods, LLC, where he specializes in Civil Litigation, Personal Injury, Malpractice, Insurance Defense Litigation and Construction Law. Mr. Strumski is a former claims manager of the Commercial Union Insurance Company where he was employed from 1972 to 1987. He joined the…

Mills (ret.)

Danvers, Massachusetts After graduating from law school, Judge Mills clerked to Hugh H. Bownes, United States Judge in the District of New Hampshire. Judge Mills then served as an assistant district attorney for Middlesex County, then moved on to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office as a division chief in the criminal bureau. Prior to his appointment to the…

Guschov

Middleton, Massachusetts Having been selected to the ADR panels of numerous prestigious national and international organizations, Mr. Guschov has many years of arbitration, mediation and dispute review board training. This experience includes many years of arbitration and mediation training conducted in various cities throughout the country by the American Arbitration Association including Award Writing Training,…

Flynn, Esq.

Wellesley, Massachusetts Robert H. Flynn has experience at the following firms: Flynn Law Firm, P.C., 2002 – present, Principal; Daly Cavanaugh & Flynn LLP, 2002, Partner; Fay, Flynn & Fay, P.C., 1982 – 2002, Partner; Hale, Sanderson, Byrnes & Morton, 1973 – 1982, Associate and Partner. Mr. Flynn has experience in commercial, employment, contract, environmental,…

Wickstrom, Esq.

Worcester, Massachusetts Timothy Wickstrom is currently a partner at Wickstrom Morse, LLP. Before that, he was a partner at Tashjion, Simsarian & Wickstrom in Worcester, MA. Mr. Wickstrom held the following positions: Associate at Nutter, McClennen & Fish in Boston, MA (1984-85); Law Clerk to the honorable Francis P. O’Connor, Associate Justice of the Supreme…

Stern, Esq.

Boston, Massachusetts Following a distinguished career as a trial lawyer with one of Boston’s oldest and finest litigation firms, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. (SRBC), Jeff is now devoting all his professional time to ADR. During a legal career, spanning over forty years, Jeff tried more than fifty cases to verdict, including product liability…

Scuteri, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts Jeff Scuteri has successfully defended and advised clients on a number of liability and insurance matters for nearly 30 years. With his experience as Essex County District Attorney’s Office Special Assistant DA, and as a former public defender for the Massachusetts Defenders Committee – Felony Trial Unit, Jeff is an exceptionally skilled negotiator…

von Rosenvinge, Esq.

Needham, Massachusetts Bruce von Rosenvinge has been a practicing civil trial attorney for oever 25 years specializing in Environmental litigation under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 21E.  He has handled over 800 hazardous material remediation cases over the past 25 years representing, Land Owners, Responsible Parties, Remediation Entities and Adjacent Land Owners.  He was lead counsel…

Quinn, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts Bill is a founding shareholder of his firm, Tinti, Quinn, Grover & Frey, P.C. in Salem, Massachusetts, one of the premier real estate and business law firms in the region. He is a highly experienced expert in all areas of real estate law as would affect any residential or commercial real estate situation or…

Porter, Jr, Esq.

Boston, Massachusetts Thomas Porter concentrates his practice on the litigation of general and complex matters and church and religious matters. He also performs mediation services for general and complex litigation cases. Mr. Porter is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Massachusetts Defense Lawyer’s Association, American Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and Boston Bar Association.…

DR Resources

In addition to our FAQs, the following articles written by MDRS founder and CEO Brian R. Jerome, Esq., include extensive information about Dispute Resolution services. ARTICLES AND INFORMATION BY ATTORNEY BRIAN JEROME The Case for Private Caucusby Brian R. Jerome, Esq. The Case for the Joint Opening Sessionby Brian R. Jerome, Esq. DR Users Guideby…

Loeb, Esq.

Boston, Massachusetts Attorney Loeb is a shareholder of the firm Rich May, and focuses on business and real estate litigation, with significant experience in the areas of general civil litigation and business and commercial law. Attorney Loeb is admitted to the courts of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the…

Guthrie, Esq.

Andover, Massachusetts Karen Thome Guthrie has been a civil litigator in Massachusetts since 1995 and has extensive experience in ADR.  Karen employs a very wide range of experience and is an excellent choice for a great majority of mediation and arbitration cases; her primary practice areas include all types of personal injury cases, tort, business…

Dorsey, Esq.

C. Michele Dorsey began practicing law in 1983, beginning her own firm in 1984. After a career as a Registered Nurse helping families with disabled children, Michele gravitated toward assisting families  who were struggling in the legal system. Michele has concentrated on complex issues in family law in the Probate and Family Court, the Appeals…

Corbett, Esq.

Attorney Corbett is Of Counsel at Williams & Associates, concentrating in providing Alternate Dispute Resolution Services as a neutral mediator and arbitrator, as well as select civil litigation and appeals; and Of Counsel at Williams & Associates, concentrating in insurance defense civil litigation. For more than thirty years Attorney Corbett has been engaged in trial…

Bernstein (ret.)

Judge Bernstein brings over 20 years of judicial experience on the Boston Municipal Court to her mediation and arbitration practice. She has presided over hundreds of civil and criminal cases, including commercial and business disputes, consumer lawsuits, commercial real estate summary process, civil restraining orders, personal injury, premises liability and insurance matters. She also presided…

Cecere

Attorney Ralph N. Cecere has over 24 years of trial experience in the trial court and administrative agencies and has handled over 200 cases taken to trial in the Superior and District Court. He has been a practicing attorney at Ralph N. Cecere, P.C. (2007 – present), where he has represented insurance companies, small businesses…

Brister

LEGAL EXPERIENCE:  John Brister spent three years at Boston Legal Aid Society before joining Parker, Coulter, Daley & White, a Boston litigation firm.  During his years there, from 1974 to 1995, Mr. Brister was the lead trial counsel in a multitude of cases in the Superior Courts of Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court.  He…

Burke

Robert Burke has been a practicing civil trial attorney at Callan and Sullivan (1977–1982), Callan, Sullivan and Burke, P.C. (1982–1997, shareholder partner), and at Callan and Burke, P.C. (1997–present, shareholder partner). His trial practice focuses on a full range of civil litigation matters, trials and appeals in all courts, and includes all insurance claims, professional…

New to DR?

Welcome to an expansive world of problem-solving!  View or download our DR User’s Guide by clicking on the picture above to learn more about the methods used to most effectively resolve disputes.  Written in plain english, the Guide is of tremendous assistance in explaining multiple modalities of Dispute Resolution, and helps readers prepare for session.…

Jerome

Attorney Brian R. Jerome, Founder and CEO of Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Mr. Jerome worked as an attorney at Parker, Coulter, Daley and White in Boston and later was in private practice with other associates focusing on matters of civil litigation and trial, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. In 1991…

Roth

Attorney Roth concentrates her practice of law on counseling companies at all phases of development. Her in-house business and employment law experience serving as In-House Corporate Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for a national behavioral health care corporation is now utilized in her private practice by representing high-tech telecommunication companies, manufacturing companies, metallurgic technology companies…

Purcell

Military: Graduated Infantry Officer Candidate School (12/68) and commissioned 2d lieutenant; completed Airborne training (2/69) and Pathfinder training (7/69); assigned to 101st Airborne Division Pathfinder team in Viet Nam (I Corps) (8/69-1/70); wounded and medevac’d stateside; after recovery, served as company commander for intelligence school unit until 2/71. Law School: Attended Boston University Law School…

Pierce

Alan Pierce is admitted to practice before the Courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the Salem, Essex County and Massachusetts Bar Associations as well as the American Bar Association and the Massachusetts…

Kelley

Mr. Kelley is a full time mediator and arbitrator hearing claims for personal injury, employment discrimination, professional malpractice, and product liability. A 20-year trial attorney with over 150 jury trials conducted, he helps litigants mediate their claims on the basis of likely admissible evidence. He assists plaintiffs and defendants to form a realistic expectation of…

Joseph F. Strumski, Jr

Joseph F. Strumski, Jr is a partner in the Law Firm of Strumski & Woods, LLC, where he specializes in Civil Litigation, Personal Injury, Malpractice, Insurance Defense Litigation and Construction Law. Mr. Strumski is a former claims manager of the Commercial Union Insurance Company where he was employed from 1972 to 1987. He joined the…

The Elements of Disputes

by Timothy J. LangellaMDRS Neutral and Guest Blogger Business disputes come in all shapes and sizes, and often have both monetary and emotional elements.  Take this case, for example: Two brothers-in-law go into business together and form a partnership or closely held corporation, after marrying their respective wives (who are sisters).  After a rocky start, the…

Recent Developments in DR

Notice to Bar Inviting Comment on Proposed Superior Court Initiatives. Comments due on or before March 4, 2016 The Superior Court invites comments on a set of proposed initiatives, as described below, designed to make civil litigation more just, speedy, and inexpensive. These proposals would make significant changes in the conduct of civil litigation in the…

DR Users Guide

Introduction With only 1.5% of civil cases making their way to jury in Massachusetts, planning for pre-trial settlement is an essential legal strategy.  Dispute Resolution (DR) has evolved to provide specialized methods to assist parties in resolving their disputes without the time, expense, and uncertainty of trial in the court system. This guide is intended…

Secrets to Business Success

by Sheri Stevens Wilson, MDRS Business Manager What’s the big secret? Tell me, how do YOU increase revenue, outrun your competitors, and put your firm in the Pole Position? Although I’ve never felt there was actually a secret, I have always recognized that the answer is different for every business. Here are my top three recommendations to aid…

Secrets to Business Success

What’s the big secret? Tell me, how do YOU increase revenue, outrun your competitors, and put your firm in the Pole Position? Although I’ve never felt there was actually a secret, I have always recognized that the answer is different for every business. Here are my top three recommendations to aid in the success of YOUR business: First…

Client List

Attorneys, Businesses, and Private Individuals: For nearly 30 years, MDRS has provided services to thousands of attorneys, private individuals, businesses, and government agencies.  In consideration of their privacy, we do not disclose any individual, attorney, or corporate entity names here.  We are always pleased to provide references upon request. Insurance Companies: AIG / Chartis Insurance…

Bruce von Rosenvinge, Esq.

Needham, Massachusetts EDUCATION: New England School of Law (Doctorate of Law, Academic Honors, 1988); Babson College (B.S., Business and Entrepreneurial Studies, 1984) LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Bruce von Rosenvinge has been a practicing civil trial attorney for oever 25 years specializing in Environmental litigation under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 21E.  He has handled over 800 hazardous material…

C. Michele Dorsey, Esq.

Scituate, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Quinnipiac School of Law (J.D. 1983); Southern Connecticut State University (B.S. Magna Cum Laude Political Science); Faulkner Hospital School of Nursing (Diploma) LEGAL AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: C. Michele Dorsey began practicing law in 1983, beginning her own firm in 1984. After a career as a Registered Nurse helping families with disabled children,…

Tips for Summer Productivity

It’s so easy to fall into the summer doldrums with the excessive heat and humidity, a sometimes quieter and less stressful work week, and less of a rigid schedule driving you at work and at home.  That’s why we’re dedicating this newsletter to you, our faithful clients and readers, and offering some ideas and inspiration…

Is Online Dispute Resolution Right For You?

Alternative Dispute Resolution has always been “ahead of the times.” Over the years we have seen it grow in popularity as people spread the word: it’s the less stress, less expense alternative to litigation. As one of the first ADR firms in Massachusetts, MDRS has had the pleasure of observing and participating in the transformation…

Resource Center

In addition to our FAQs, the following articles written by MDRS founder and CEO Brian R. Jerome, Esq., as well as other MDRS neutrals (see further below) include extensive and useful information about Dispute Resolution services. Blog Articles and Education Client List Client Testimonials Case Submission and Session Preparation Arbitration Rules Case Submission (This is…

Robert H. Flynn, Esq.

Wellesley, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Boston College (A.B. 1970); Boston College Law School (J.D. 1973). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Robert H. Flynn has experience at the following firms: Flynn Law Firm, P.C., 2002 – present, Principal; Daly Cavanaugh & Flynn LLP, 2002, Partner; Fay, Flynn & Fay, P.C., 1982 – 2002, Partner; Hale, Sanderson, Byrnes & Morton, 1973 – 1982, Associate…

John W. Brister, Esq.

Plymouth, Massachusetts EDUCATION:  Dartmouth College (B.A. 1967); Boston College Law School (J.D. 1970). LEGAL EXPERIENCE:  John Brister spent three years at Boston Legal Aid Society before joining Parker, Coulter, Daley & White, a Boston litigation firm.  During his years there, from 1974 to 1995, Mr. Brister was the lead trial counsel in a multitude of…

Lynn

The city of Lynn is located in Essex County and is divided up into Central, East and West Lynn, each of which is broken up into smaller communities. Since Lynn’s settlement in 1629 and incorporation in 1850, the city has been home to a slew of notable residents such as abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, religious…

Beverly

Located in Essex County and near Massachusetts Bay’s North Shore, the city of Beverly was settled in 1626, incorporated in 1668, and then officially incorporated as a city in 1894. Beverly, a summer resort, residential, and manufacturing community, has a rich history as it is the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution with the first…

DR Users Guide

Download PDF Introduction With only 1.5% of civil cases making their way to a jury in Massachusetts, planning for pre-trial settlement is an essential legal strategy.  Dispute Resolution (DR) has evolved to provide specialized methods to assist parties in resolving their disputes without the time, expense, and uncertainty of trial in the court system. This…

Dispute Resolution [DR]

Download a (free) copy of our DR Users Guide. What is DR? DR is an alternative to the lengthy and costly pre-trial discovery required in the court system and to the uncertainty and frustration of trial.  Sometimes referred to as “appropriate dispute resolution”, the principal advantage of DR is its inherent flexibility, giving the parties,…

Dem Guschov

Middleton, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Harvard University Graduate School H.I.A.F.; Wentworth Institute of Technology (Architectural Engineering Degree); Certified Licensed Construction Supervisor for Buildings of all types and sizes. LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Having been selected to the ADR panels of numerous prestigious national and international organizations, Mr. Guschov has many years of arbitration, mediation and dispute review board training. This…

MDRS

As an ‘early adopter’ of Dispute Resolution, also known as ‘DR‘, Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services (MDRS) is among the first exclusive DR providers on the East Coast.  We have resolved thousands upon thousands of cases for our clients who range from private individuals, to attorneys, businesses, and the insurance industry. MDRS offers a full range…

Sheri Wilson

Meet Sheri Wilson, Director of Marketing and Operations. One part entrepreneur, one part business strategist, one part marketer, one part how-does-she-do-all-that?, Sheri’s passion for DR has helped innovate an entire local industry. Sheri joined the MDRS team in 2011 and enjoys making work more efficient, effective, and fun.  She is directly responsible for our Client…

Jeffrey T. Scuteri, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Suffolk University School of Law (J.D. 1980); Lawrence University (A.B. 1977). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Jeff Scuteri has successfully defended and advised clients on a number of liability and insurance matters for nearly 30 years. With his experience as Essex County District Attorney’s Office Special Assistant DA, and as a former public defender for the…

Timothy P. Wickstrom, Esq.

Worcester, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Catholic University of America School of Law (J.D. 1983); College of the Holy Cross (A.B. Political Science 1980). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Timothy Wickstrom is currently a partner at Wickstrom Morse, LLP. Before that, he was a partner at Tashjion, Simsarian & Wickstrom in Worcester, MA. Mr. Wickstrom held the following positions: Associate at Nutter, McClennen & Fish…

Robert L. Burke

Andover, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Northeastern University School of Law (J.D. 1976); University of Massachusetts, Boston (B.A. 1972). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Robert Burke has been a practicing civil trial attorney at Callan and Sullivan (1977–1982), Callan, Sullivan and Burke, P.C. (1982–1997, shareholder partner), and at Callan and Burke, P.C. (1997–present, shareholder partner). His trial practice focuses on a full range…

Jeffrey S. Stern, Esq.

Boston, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Harvard University (J.D. cum laude 1973); Amherst College (B.A. magna cum laude 1967). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Following a distinguished career as a trial lawyer with one of Boston’s oldest and finest litigation firms, Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. (SRBC), Jeff is now devoting all his professional time to ADR. During a legal career, spanning over…

Jon T. Skerry, Esq.

Salem, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Suffolk University Law School (J.D. 1978); University of Massachusetts at Amherst (B.A. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa 1972). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: From 1978 until 1984 Attorney Skerry was an associate at Costello, Hourihan, Frattaroli & Barrett.  Since 1984 he has been a partner at Skerry & Morrison, a civil litigation trial practice representing…

John O. Mirick, Esq.

Worcester, Massachusetts EDUCATION: Harvard Law School (J.D. cum laude 1972); University College, University of London (M.A. Area Studies 1969); Fulbright Scholar to England (1968-69); Amherst College (B.A. magna cum laude 1968); Phi Beta Kappa, Massachusetts Beta Chapter (1968). LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee (Partner; Chairman , Litigation Department), Hale & Dorr (4 years). Judicial Nominating…

Directions

Salem Office 27 Congress Street, Suite 401, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970 Visit the historic and culturally rich North Shore when you choose to have your session in our recently renovated offices in Shetland Park, Salem, Massachusetts.  Nestled alongside Salem Harbor and Pickering Wharf Marina, the area is known for a bustling Fall Season and the area…

Forms

Agreement for Binding High-Low Arbitration Agreement for Binding Arbitration Case Submission Confidential High-Low Agreement Mediation Agreement Mediation Guidelines Arbitration Rules Mediation/Arbitration [Med/Arb] Agreement

Services – continued

Arbitration As in most states, Massachusetts law allows parties to choose arbitration, rather than trial in the court system, to reach final resolution of their disputes. Parties agree on an impartial arbitrator with training and experience in the specific area of law involved in the dispute. The arbitrator conducts a hearing in which parties present…

MDRS Fee Schedule

  Standard Mediation Session or Arbitration Hearing Our standard fee for a mediation session or arbitration hearing before one MDRS neutral of up to two hours is $575.00 per party, required as pre-payment.  Each additional hour of service will be billed at $225.00 per hour, per party.  Such additional charges include any necessary review of…

Services

MDRS Services Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services (MDRS) provides a full range of out-of-court mediation and arbitration services to private individuals, attorneys, businesses, government agencies, and the insurance community. Mediation Informal and non adversarial, the non-binding procedures of mediation consist of parties agreeing upon an impartial mediator to hear the relevant facts of a dispute and…