Bennett G. Picker, Esq.
2005 Market Street
Suite 2600
One Commerce Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hourly Rate $675
Current Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP – Senior Counsel
Practice 28
Cases 340
Languages English
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP – Senior Counsel
Senior Counsel, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP (Full-time Neutral), 2008 – Present; Partner in firm, 1996 – 2007; Chair, Stradley Ronon ADR Practice Group, 1996 – 2006; Partner and Chairman, Bolger Picker Hankin & Tannenbaum, 1971 – 1996; Partner/Associate, Tate & Ervin, 1966 – 1971.
For approximately 28 years, has served as a mediator in several hundred disputes, mostly complex commercial disputes involving substantial dollars and/or important strategic interests. Served as a mediator on multiple occasions in each of the following areas of dispute: corporate and commercial transactions, asset purchase and stock purchase agreements, UCC, securities, intellectual property (patent, trademark, licensing, unfair competition and computer software disputes), bankruptcy, healthcare, real estate, employment (discrimination, harassment, tenure, restrictive covenants, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims, environmental, products liability, professional liability (law firms and accounting firms), shareholder and partnership disputes and class actions.
Served as mediator in numerous complex business disputes including following representative cases: nine figure claim by public company against major accounting firm in connection with its audit; claims by state insurance commissioner against national law firm for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties; dispute between two healthcare institutions involving alleged breaches of affiliation agreement (mediation resolved dispute and also permitted parties to dissolve a joint medical practice); dispute arising out of employment termination of key executives of public company; alleged breach of asset purchase and continuing supply agreements; nine figure claim by trustee in a bankruptcy against multiple parties involving claims of breaches of fiduciary duties, fraud and equitable subordination; claim by manufacturing company against manufacturer of component parts which were recalled worldwide; dispute arising out of purchase of computer software licenses alleging fraud, breach of warranties and breach of contract; nine figure claim against numerous insurance companies from North America and Europe for insurance coverage by owners of satellite which exploded in space; numerous claims against accounting firms in connection with audits (including claims for breaches of fiduciary duties and violations of GAAP and GAAS); claims by trustee of public company in bankruptcy against officers and directors and company's accounting firm for damages arising from "deepening insolvency," claims by minority shareholders of corporation against majority shareholders for breaches of fiduciary duties and "minority oppression;" numerous shareholder, partnership and real estate disputes involving competing arguments on valuation issues; dispute over worldwide distribution of patent royalties involving two pharmaceutical companies which jointly developed and marketed the product; claims of wrongful termination, employment discrimination and contract right to tenure by university professor; copyright infringement claim against author by competing publication; claims by limited partners in real estate investments against general partner for misallocation of profits from pooled sale of properties; claim against national law firm for damages arising from alleged conflicts of interest and failure to disclose certain relationships and large eight figure claim against national law firm for alleged inadequate due diligence in an acquisition. Many of these mediations involved multiple days and some required continuing involvement at conclusion of mediation sessions.
Before moving to a full-time neutral's practice, served as an advocate in numerous mediations, including voluntary, contract-mandated and court-mandated mediations. Also served on numerous occasions as "settlement counsel." In these instances, was retained to work with the client and with outside trial counsel, in large dollar complex commercial cases, to prepare the client for the mediation process, to work with trial counsel in preparing written mediation statements and for mediation sessions, to manage all communications with the mediator, and to strategically manage the negotiating process once in mediation. This "two-track" approach allowed trial counsel to participate in the mediation process while remaining focused upon preparing for trial.
While conducting a mediation training session, I was asked if I could describe mediation in one word. Without hesitating, I responded "opportunity." In mediation, parties have an opportunity to communicate effectively, telescope issues in hours or days that might otherwise take years to develop in litigation; achieve enormous savings of cost, avoid the distractions of litigation and eliminate risk. Equally important, parties have an opportunity to explore their underlying needs and interests and develop practical solutions not available in litigation or in arbitration.

In order for all participants to take advantage of the opportunities presented in a mediation, it is imperative for all participants - party representatives, counsel and the mediator alike - to devote adequate time to preparing for the process. Accordingly, I work with counsel in advance of mediation to address key preparation issues such as the need for any exchanged submissions, the substance of critical ex parte submissions, the identity of the participants and issues of authority.

I firmly believe that while the parties may own the outcome, they are looking for my leadership on issues of process. With regard to the "facilitative-evaluation" debate, I find most parties want and deserve appropriate "reality testing." While I do not put a number on a case or even ask for the parties' bottom line (except, perhaps, on rare occasions to break an impasse), as the only objective person in the room, I believe the parties do want to hear from me on the "merits." In the final analysis, while parties may tell me what they want, what they need, what is fair, what is right, what is true (all of which is fair comment), I will urge parties to listen respectfully, make good assessments and make responsible decisions. In my view, the benchmark for a responsible decision is a comparison of what can be accomplished in mediation with the consequences likely to occur if the parties fail to achieve a settlement. My approach, however, will be different in each next case depending upon the positions, the people and the problem. Of course, in every case, I also explore the underlying interests and examine the potential for a "win-win" solution.

At the same time, no resolution is driven solely by disparate litigation-risk analyses. There is always some other interest, need, agenda item or problem in the background which is driving a party's analysis and settlement decisions. I make every effort to take a multi-dimensional view of a dispute, looking beyond the differing views on positions and interests. For example, I find that differences between counsel and client can create a sometimes invisible barrier to resolution. Differences among and between the various representatives of just one side to a dispute similarly can create a barrier to resolution invisible to the other side. I often conduct an "intra-mural mediation" on just one side to get all of the party-representatives on the same page on offers, demands and issues such as the timing of a payment, or which division's budget will take a "hit," or whether a settlement should be based upon a one-time payment or restructured terms of a deal.

I hope what I bring to the table as a mediator, in addition to my skill, experience and integrity, are qualities of patience and perseverance. Not infrequently, party-representatives and their lawyers reach a stage where they are willing to give up and terminate the process. So long as the parties are participating in good faith, my credo is "never give up." I have often heard it said that a good settlement is one where both parties are equally dissatisfied. However, surprisingly often, I hear from parties after a mediation that they were satisfied not only with the process, but also the result.
Available upon request.
ACE20 Cyber Security: A Shared Responsibility, 2020; AAA ACE 19 Case Finances: What Arbitrators Need to Know, 2019; Arbitrator Performance and Demeanor ~ Meeting Participant Expectations, 2018; AAA Best Practices In Commercial Arbitration, 2017; AAA What Advocates Can Learn From Walking In An Arbitrator’s Shoes, 2016; AAA Principled Deliberations, 2014;International Academy of Mediators, 2001, 2004-2006, 2008, 2012, 2014-2017; ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting, 2012; AAA Neutrals Conference, 2010; AAA Dealing with Delay Tactics in Arbitration ACE04, 2006; AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards ACE01, 2005; AAA Arbitrator Update, 2002; AAA Arbitrator II Training: Advanced Case Management Issues, 2002; AAA Commercial Arbitrator Training, 2000.
Admitted to the Bar: Pennsylvania (1966); U.S. District Court: Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1967); U.S. Court of Appeals: Third (1968) and Fourth (1980) Circuits; U.S. Supreme Court (1976).
Representative of International Mediation Institute to United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); American College of Civil Trial Mediators (Fellow); International Academy of Mediators (Distinguished Fellow); Certified Mediator, International Mediation Institute (IMI); American Arbitration Association (Past Member, Board of Directors; Executive Committee; National Mediation Committee, Past Co-Chair); Member, AAA Master Mediation Panel, CPR Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (Executive Advisory Committee); National Task Force on Diversity in ADR); CPR, Member, National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; Member, Mediation Panels of Singapore and Florence International Mediation Institutes; Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law (Advisory Board Member); Philadelphia Bar Association (Past Chancellor; Board of Governors, Past Chair); Pennsylvania Bar Association (Past House of Delegates); American Bar Association (Dispute Resolution Section); U.S. District Court Historical Society (Board Member; Past Vice President); U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Bicentennial Celebration, Chair); Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (Advisory Board Member and Co-Founder); Regional Chamber of Commerce (Past Board Member); Pennsylvania Trial Court Nominating Commission, First Judicial District, (Past Member and Secretary); Former Member, Editorial Board, Dispute Resolution Magazine of American Bar Association.
Columbia University (JD, Executive Editor, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law-1966); Temple University (BA, magna cum laude-1963).
Sir Francis Bacon Award for Excellence in ADR, Pennsylvania Bar Association, 2017; Named by National Law Journal as "ADR Champion," 2017; American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution "Lawyer As Problem Solver Award" (2010); accepted on behalf of law firm CPR's "Inaugural Award for Excellence in ADR" (2007); American Arbitration Association's Outstanding Director Award, 2005; Awards for Service as: Co-Founder of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, 1988 (Presented by Justice Harry Blackman); Chairman of Federal Court Celebration of Bicentennial of Bill of Rights, 1987 (Presented by Chief Justice Warren Burger); and Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and Co-Founder of the bar's pro bono program - "Philadelphia VIP," 1986 (Presented by Justice William Brennan); Named as Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, annually since 2004 and selected for inclusion in 2005-2017 editions of "The Best Lawyers in America," including "Lawyer of the Year" (2011, 2012 and 2013); One of "World's Leading Mediators," International Who's Who of Commercial Mediators (2014-2017).
"Mediation v. Court Truth," Blog of International Academy of Mediators ( (2017); "How to Become a Successful Mediator," keynote address delivered in 2015 at conference in Florence, Italy, sponsored by the International Mediation Institute and published on and; "Cognitive Barriers to Success in Mediation," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (December 2010), co-authored with Gregg Relyea; "Preparation: The Key to Successful Outcomes in Mediation," ALTERNATIVES, CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (February 2010); "The 10 Most Common Mistakes Made by Mediation Advocates," THE LEGAL INTELLIGENCER, April 19, 2007; "Navigating The Mediation Process: Overcoming Invisible Barriers to Resolution," DISPUTE RESOLUTION JOURNAL, American Arbitration Association, vol. 61, no. 3, August-October 2006; "Strategies for Successful Mediation," ALTERNATIVES, CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, June 2006; transcript of comments at CPR's Annual Meeting; "Experts Identify ADR Trends And Best Practices," THE METROPOLITAN CORPORATE COUNSEL, January 2006; Author, MEDIATION PRACTICE GUIDE: A HANDBOOK FOR RESOLVING BUSINESS DISPUTES, 2nd ed., published in 2003 by the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution; Author, GUIA PRACTICA PARA LA MEDIACION (Spanish Edition of MEDIATION PRACTICE GUIDE), published in 2003 by Centro Empresarial de Mediacion y Arbitraje (Mediation and Arbitration Center of Buenos Aires); Co-author, Chapter on ADR in multi-volume series, SUCCESSFUL PARTNERING BETWEEN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE COUNSEL, published in 2000 by West Group, Inc. and American Corporate Counsel Association; "How to Best Aid Negotiations by Breaking Down Barriers," ALTERNATIVES, CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, December 2001; "Breaking Negotiation Barriers Through Mediation," THE LEGAL INTELLIGENCER, October 22, 2001; "ADR: New Challenges, New Roles, New Opportunities," Temple Law Review, vol. 72.4, Winter 1999; Author, MEDIATION PRACTICE GUIDE: A HANDBOOK FOR RESOLVING BUSINESS DISPUTES, 1st ed., published in 1998 by Pike and Fischer, Inc., a subsidiary of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. and the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution; "25 Practice Tips for Mediation," THE PHILADELPHIA LAWYER, PBA Quarterly Magazine, vol. 59, no. 4, Winter 1996; "Mediation: The Sleeping Giant of ADR;" "Innovative ADR - One Meridian Plaza Fire Litigation: A Study in Cooperative Litigation Management," course materials of PBA/PICPA sponsored seminar, October, 1995; "New Plan to Reduce Litigation Costs," CORPORATE LEGAL TIMES, volume II, no. 13, December, 1992; "Family Responsibility Policies for Law Firms," PLI Course Handbook Series No. 560, 1990; "Amend the Pennsylvania Constitution: Eliminate Partisan Judicial Elections," PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL, July 13, 1987; "Insider Trading: A Policymaking Priority for Directors," DIRECTORS & BOARDS, vol. II, no. 4, Summer 1987; "Partnership Agreements: Legal and Practical Considerations," PLI Course Handbook Series No. 520, 1989; and course materials for over 50 presentations on ADR, mediation, arbitration and negotiations.

Has been lecturer or panelist on mediation, negotiations and arbitration at ADR programs sponsored by American Bar Association (Advanced Mediation Institutes) and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, Center for Dispute Resolution (United Kingdom), CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, American Arbitration Association, International Mediation Institute, American Corporate Counsel Association, Practicing Law Institute, Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, and numerous law school and in-house legal departments of corporations throughout the United States.
$675 Per Hour
United States of America
Philadelphia, PA

The AAA provides mediators to parties on cases administered by the AAA under AAA mediation procedures. Mediations that proceed without AAA administration are not considered AAA mediations, even where parties select a mediator who is a member of an AAA mediation roster.