The cost and time required to litigate a matter to full conclusion is becoming more and more burdensome for many consumers and unacceptable to many corporate departments even if they can afford the escalating costs. Since more than 90 percent of commercial, corporate, and personal injury disputes resolve or settle without a trial, the question is not whether to employ a mediator but how soon in the process to do so.

As President Lincoln advised in 1850:

Discourage litigation.  Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.  Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, and expenses and waste of time.

So, what is mediation, and how is it used?  As described by Chief Judge Gary Sharpe in General Order #47 of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, mediation is a “flexible, non-binding, confidential process in which a qualified Neutral, the Mediator, facilitates resolution of the issues between the parties and assists with settlement discussions.”

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) thus require artful discourse to allow the parties to improve communication, understand the position of the adverse party, probe the strengths of all sides, and to finally accelerate the resolution process by out of the box creative solutions that the frustration over litigation or the heat of battle prevent both the parties and their attorneys from considering.

Mediation can run the range of simply allowing the parties to directly talk to each other and create their own solution to having the mediator provide his/her evaluative experiences to gently or not so gently guide the parties to a solution.

At Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C., our mediation services are offered by our two seasoned litigator/mediators who have experience on both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s tables. These attorney/mediators use their collective 60 years of experience to accelerate the resolution process, which saves time, money, and emotional resources which are better spent on the future rather than anguishing about the past.

Salvatore D. Ferlazzo began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Bernard Meyer of the State’s Highest Court, the Court of Appeals, after finishing first in his law school class at Western New England School of Law in 1981. He has used his litigation skills to try numerous cases to conclusion and has also used mediation skills to resolve cases as a party to mediation as well as during the private mediation process inherent in reviewing and resolving thousands of cases over his 30 years.

Mr. Ferlazzo has been retained as a mediator by attorneys in large and small legal practices and has served as an Early Trial Neutral for the Federal Court system since 2005. He has successfully mediated commercial disputes on sophisticated issues, employment matters, personal injury suits, and civil rights disputes.

Recently, Mr. Ferlazzo was invited by Chief Judge Sharpe to become a member of the Paid Mediator Panel for the Northern District Court of the United States District Court. He received extensive training with the rest of the panel members in the art and practice of mediation. His is also a member of the New York State Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution.

Jay E. Girvin concentrates his practice in the areas of Education Law, Private and Public Sector Labor and Employment Law, and Litigation. He is experienced in collective bargaining, mediation, fact finding, arbitration, improper practice and unfair labor practice proceedings, and state and federal court proceedings.  Mr. Girvin has been involved in more than 100 mediation sessions over the course of his career.  Like Mr. Ferlazzo, Mr. Girvin uses his mediation skills to bring the matter to a successful conclusion in a timely manner.

He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, Northern District, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Military Appeals, and in New York and Massachusetts.

A graduate of Siena College and Albany Law School of Union University, Mr. Girvin started his legal career as a Captain in the U.S. Army where he served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps as trial defense counsel and appellate defense counsel. During his service to the Army, Mr. Girvin tried more than 50 cases and served as appellate counsel on more than 100 matters. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.

Gerard E. Maney, prior to joining Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C. as “of Counsel”, spent 28 years serving as an Acting Supreme and Surrogates Court Justice and Acting Family Court Judge in the Third Judicial District; and as a New York State Family Court Judge in Albany County. In that capacity, he was the Supervising Judge for the Family Courts in the Third Judicial District from 2002-2016.

Judge Maney concentrates his practice in alternative dispute resolution services including mediation and arbitration. Judge Maney has utilized the unique experiences and deep legal knowledge he gained during his time on the bench to develop his highly effective negotiating and settlement skills and techniques.

Prior to his election to the bench, Judge Maney was associated with the law firm of Scheiberling, Rogan and Maney and was Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Albany, New York. Judge Maney is a 1976 graduate of the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and is a 1971 graduate of Siena College.

He is a member of and past preside to the Albany County Bar Association and a member of the New York State Bar Association.

Judge Maney was awarded the Bridge Builders Award from Mediation Matters in 2006. The award is presented to an individual who builds bridges to foster collaboration and strengthen communities. He is also the recipient of the Ambassadors Award from the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Equal Justice for All Award from the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.

For more information on our Alternative Dispute and Mediation Practice, you can contact our office at 518-462-0300, or you can submit the form below with the information requested and provide a time you would like the law firm to contact you.

Mediation Lead

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