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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Rosenbaum

The Wisdom of Choosing a Retired Jurist for ADR

During this year of COVID-19, courthouses have been repeatedly challenged with closures and delayed start-ups. New York has been one of the more ambitious states to cautiously recommence civil trials, albeit at a slow pace. The many moving and complex parts of civil cases make it very difficult to break up the court log jams wrought by the pandemic. Consequently, attorneys and clients who seek to resolve cases by year-end 2020 or in the first quarter of 2021 will face a clogged court calendar. Parties have the option, however, to bypass an overburdened court system by turning to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle their disputes more quickly and less expensively. Here’s how!

  • Retired, active judges experienced in adjudicating complex litigation claims are especially well qualified to handle mediations and arbitrations within compressed time frames.

  • Judges’ case management skills developed from handling heavy court dockets make them exceptionally qualified to resolve disputes thoroughly and expeditiously.

  • Judges have deep knowledge of state and federal law and special expertise in a variety of practice areas, making them well positioned to understand and explain the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

  • Judges with years of experience settling numerous cases on the bench are skilled at bringing parties together and resolving disputes through mediation and arbitration.

  • Parties are free to choose a judge that has the qualifications that best fits their needs and has a proven track record in resolving disputes successfully; contrast that with litigation where the judge is assigned by the court and may not be to the parties’ liking.

There is immense value in having a retired judge handle your ADR both in terms of cost efficiency and judicial experience. Check the retired judge’s mediation website. See if the judge has listed her/his rates and fees. More often than not, lawyers will be surprised at how affordable these top line neutrals are and how effective they can be in resolving their cases.

Mediation and arbitration can be meaningful and productive processes in many ways. For clients, ADR provides a more informal and relaxed way for them to express themselves and not worry about the formalities and pressures imposed by a robed judge or lay jury. For attorneys, mediations and arbitrations provide more flexibility to advocate as they wish, without burdensome procedural or evidentiary restrictions. Importantly, ADR permits the parties to resolve their disputes quickly, efficiently and cost effectively allowing them to move on with their lives.

As a former NYS Supreme Court Justice engaged in arbitrations at Rosenbaum Mediations, I bring over fourteen years of experience successfully settling thousands of cases and issuing numerous decisions at bench trials and in motion practice. During mediations, I maintain a neutral stance and employ a collaborative approach while working with the parties and discussing the merits and pitfalls of their case. I take the necessary time needed to resolve the parties’ issues and do the best I can to bring a settlement to fruition. I enjoy the collegiality with the attorneys and am not shy about speaking with their clients to put them at ease.

The courts are doing their very best to open up, but it is still a long wait for civil jury and bench trials to get on the docket. Consider fast tracking your case with ADR and choosing an experienced, retired but active judge to mediate or arbitrate your dispute!

~ Hon. Matthew Rosenbaum (ret.), is a retired NYS Supreme Court Justice and founder of Rosenbaum Mediations, PLLC. He has resolved thousands of cases, both small and highly complex. He currently has resolved over 92% of ADR matters. For more information, go to

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