James A. Brown, Esq.
P.O. Box 24611
Brooklyn, NY 11202
Hourly Rate $400
Current Arbitrator and Mediator
Practice 6
Cases 60
Languages English
Arbitrator and Mediator
Self-Employed, Arbitrator and Mediator, 2012-Present; Partner, Brown & Gropper, LLP, 2002 - 2012; Owner, Law Offices of James A. Brown, 1995 - 2002; Associate, Colleran, O'’Hara & Mills, 1991 - 1995; Associate, Seham, Klein & Zelman, 1990 - 1991; Assistant General Counsel, New York City Office of Municipal Labor Relations, 1987 - 1990; Associate, Manning, Raab, Dealy & Sturm, 1986 - 1987.
As an advocate who practiced labor and employment law for 25 years through 2011, regularly appeared before mediators who presented a variety of styles, from purely facilitative to evaluative.

Since 2011, serve as full-time mediator and arbitrator. Has adopted an evaluative approach to mediation, drawing from many years of litigating employment disputes on behalf of plaintiffs and employers.

Have mediated over 60 cases, most of which are employment-related, including statutory discrimination claims, contract disputes and wage and hour claims.

Has mediated single and multi-plaintiff cases; employers have ranged in size from small restaurants to large multinational corporations.

Also has experience mediating wage claims brought by undocumented workers, and structuring settlements where collective bargaining rights and obligations may impact the outcome.

Transgender employee retaliated against after complaining about workplace treatment.

Sexual assault by small business owner.

Hotel employee placed in less visible work station due to race.

Reasonable accommodations for employee's religious beliefs.

Sexual harassment by same-sex supervisor.

Promotions denied based on religion and national origin.

Reasonable accommodations for disabled employee.

Fee dispute, under Title VII, after client prevailed before the NYS Division of Human Rights.

Transgender employee constructively discharged in connection with alleged hostile work environment.

Overtime claims involving allegedly misclassified employees.

Off-the-clock overtime claims made by restaurant workers.

Delivery workers alleging minimum wage violations.
As an advocate for 25 years, appeared before mediators in both employment and labor cases. The amounts in dispute were under $500,000.00, and the cases alleged discrimination, wage and hour violations, and whistleblower protection.
Mediation requires patience, a positive outlook, and a willingness to compromise. A good mediator will address the parties' concerns with the aim of problem solving. Mediators should also help the parties recalibrate their prior expectations in the interest of reaching a settlement.

Before a mediation is conducted, I receive memoranda from counsel summarizing their clients' contentions and also stating the history of settlement discussions and each side's settlement range. I then follow-up with ex-parte telephone calls to address any questions raised by the submissions and also to identify who will attend the mediation.

At the mediation, I carefully listen to the parties in order to help them achieve their stated interests which are not necessarily the same as their stated desires. I ultimately engage in a "litigation risk" discussion during caucuses, subject to confirmation or challenge by counsel, as a means to ensure informed participation. Toward the end of the mediation, I detail the benefits of settling, especially if the potential settlement falls short of initial expectations.

The attorneys play an important role at mediation. They must have with them all necessary documents pertaining to both liability and damages. After conferring with counsel, there is sometimes a joint session at which the attorneys state their clients' positions without being argumentative. During caucuses, I allow the parties to do most of the talking because I find that establishing a rapport with the parties is essential to a successful outcome.
Eric B. Sigda, Esq., (212) 801.9386, SIGDAE@gtlaw.com
Gail Weiner, Esq., (212) 935-6000, gail@lebow.net
Anne Seelig, Esq., (212) 661-0052, anne@leelitigation.com
AAA ACE19 Case Finances: What Arbitrators Need to Know, 2019; SDNY Mediation Workshop 2018: "Exploring the Joint Session: Benefits, Detriments, Strategies for Making the Most of it." SDNY Mediation Workshop 2018: "Please Beat Up My/Their Client;" Arbitrator Performance and Demeanor ~ Meeting Participant Expectations, 2018; AAA-ICDR Council and Columbia Law School Conference: The Future of Arbitration, 2017; AAA The Role of Fairness and Justice in Arbitration, 2016; AAA Arbitration Awards; Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards, 2016; AAA Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices, 2016; AAA Labor Arbitrator II Workshop, 2014; AAA Labor Arbitrator I Workshop, 2013; FINRA Securities Arbitration Training, 2012; SDNY Mediation Training, 2012; and two Labor Arbitration Institute conferences, 2012.
Admitted to the Bar, New York, 1987; U.S. District Court, Southern (1989) and Eastern (1990) Districts of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1999).
New York State Bar Association; Labor and Employment Relations Association (New York City, Long Island and New Jersey Chapters).
Tufts University (BA-1983); Brooklyn Law School (JD-1986).
Recent speaking engagements include:

"Motion Practice in Arbitration: A Bridge Too Far or a Welcome Development?" (NYS Bar Association, January 2018);

"Labor Arbitration - An Overdue Look at Some Controversial Issues in Disciplinary Cases” (NYS Bar Association, September 2016);

"Labor Arbitrator Roundtable: Best & Worst Practices for Labor Arbitration" (NYS Bar Association, October 2013); and

"New Labor Arbitrator Panel" (NYC Bar Association, June 2013).

Recent Publications:

"Wage and Hour Mediations and the Small Employer," New York Law Journal, December 14, 2018.

"SDNY Automatic Referrals and Pre-Mediation Discovery," New York Law Journal, September 14, 2017.

"Friedrichs: The End of Public Sector Labor Relations as We Know It?" NYSBA Labor and Employment Law Journal, Fall 2015, Vol. 40, No.1.
$400 Per Hour
English
United States of America, United States of America, United States of America, United States of America, United States of America, United States of America, United States of America, United States of America
Brooklyn, NY

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.