Richard Sussman received his BA from Columbia University and is a graduate of Northeastern University Law School. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section and the national Association for Conflict Resolution. After law school Richard clerked for the incoming Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York and served as Court Attorney for a Judge who sat in the Civil and Criminal Courts of the City of New York and the State Supreme Court, New York County.
Richard began his mediation career in 1994 as a Community Dispute Mediator trained at the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (“IMCR”) founded by Theodore Kheel. At IMCR, Richard mediated disputes involving Child Custody, disputing neighbors, local merchants, and neighborhood residents disputing City land use decisions. In 2009, Richard completed the training and practicum requirements of the Center for Mediation and Training.
This prepared him to become a family and divorce mediator qualified by the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and national Association for Conflict Resolution. Richard is also a member of the “Roster of Neutrals” for the Commercial Division Mediation program of the State Supreme Court in New York County.
Since his admission to the Bar in 1986, in addition to conflict resolution, Richard has specialized in housing, real estate and tenant-landlord litigation, Real Estate transactions, and wills, trusts, and estate drafting and administration both as a solo practitioner and as a law firm associate. He has been a New York State Office of Court Administration Fiduciary since for over fifteen years.
Prior to attending law school, Richard received an A.B. Degree in Urban Political Economy from Columbia University. Before attending Columbia, Richard concentrated on political science, piano performance and new music while attending Oberlin College and Conservatory. Between Oberlin and Columbia, he lived on a Kibbutz in Israel and, later, worked as a construction project laborer. After graduating from Columbia he was principal aide to a member of the New York City Council and served on the West Harlem Community Planning Board and its Executive Committee for six years. For almost 20 years he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the New York “Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing” (IAHH.org).
Currently, he is active in the Rockland County Coalition to End the New Jim Crow and environmental and faith based organizations. Richard’s background has prepared him to work with people and businesses from a mosaic of cultural and religious backgrounds.
Ellyn Rabinowitz, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, received her BA from Binghamton University and an MSW from Yeshiva University, specializing in casework and group work. She also earned a certificate from the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in psychoanalysis and couples counseling. Ellyn previously worked in the corporate world/Human Resources for Johnson and Johnson, Inc. and Domino’s Pizza, working with corporate culture, conflict and workplace issues. She has worked with families and couples with conflict and communication problems since 1988, with families as an “in-home” therapist for Families First, visiting homes where there were problems and crises and helping to resolve them. Her expertise with family issues extends to working with young children, delinquents, inner-city, suburban families, couples, the LGBT community, substance abusers, and NYC seniors, their families and the corporate world. Ellyn grew up in New York City and is culturally attuned to different ways of being, living and seeing the world — which created respect for diversity, non-judgmental attitudes and empathy for clients.
Ellyn graduated from a psychoanalytic post-graduate program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and has had a private psychotherapy practice for over 20 years, with a broad range of clients and issues, conducted group therapy, and effective couple’s therapy.
In working with myriad couples and families, Ellyn saw the difficulty that children and ex-spouses had adjusting to bitter divorces or contemplating adversarial legal divorces and that business people had in trying to resolve critical workplace issues. She felt there must be a better way of dealing with this. She sought out training with Dr. Kenneth Neumann, Director of The Center for Family and Divorce Mediation in New York City and took Mediation Training course and then post-training as an intern. Since then, she has enjoyed working with couples, families and organizations in accomplishing “win-win” situations through mediation, where couples and businesses work with her and Richard Sussman in agreements that both sides can live with, and then are able to successfully move forward.
About Richard Sussman Attorney Mediator
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a mutually-selected, impartial mediator helps people to reach an outcome of their own making, which may include the resolution of issues and the preservation of vital relationships.
Mediation has the broadest application and the greatest potential for resolving disputes and reconciling conflicts. Mediation offers participants an informal, economical and efficient way to effectively address the substance of their conflict while maintaining their ability to affect both the process and the outcome.
When you engage our practice, you can learn about:
- How Mediation differs from Litigation
- Deciding which Process is Right for You
- The role of the Mediator
- The role of attorneys, if any
- Financial Disclosure
- The Mediation Process
Comparing Mediation & Litigation*
Both parties must agree to participate.
However, if a party wishes to leave, they are free to do so.
If a party refuses to participate, they can
be held in contempt of court or be subject
to a default judgment, in which a court holds that all of the allegations in a complaint are true and all the relief sought will be granted.
|Which Process Is Right for You?||Each party is free to express their personal, financial, and emotional concerns, with or without assistance of attorney or other advocate and to participate in negotiating of the conflict that has brought them to mediation. Process is designed to empower the parties to address the issues arising from their prior relationship, instead of giving a court or judge to determine the course of their future.||Parties usually speak through their attorneys and may speak for themselves only if called to testify by the court or one of the attorneys.
Process presumes that the parties are antagonistic toward each other and are incapable of reaching a resolution of their
conflicts without an outside authority, such as a judge and the court system. Litigation does not address the issues arising from personal or business relationships and assumes the parties are incapable of communicating with each other.
|The Mediator||Is Neutral. Mediators give information, not advice. Mediators are trained to empower parties to communicate more effectively by giving them an opportunity to express themselves in a safe setting – either privately to the mediator – or in the presence of each other. The mediator will keep confidential any private statement that he/she is not authorized to reveal to the other party.||No mediator. Although judge may share information, all testimony is public. By choosing to litigate, the parties, in effect, decide to let a judge decide the future of themselves and their family and to pay lawyers hundreds of dollars per hour to attempt to persuade the judge to make a decision that “favors” their client according to the law.|
|Attorneys||Are not required, though they may represent a party. The mediator will explain the role of the attorney in the mediation at the outset of the first mediation session. When attorneys are not involved in the mediation, the parties are encouraged to consult their attorney or request referral to an attorney to review and advise before they sign it.||Are paid to advise their clients during all of preliminary stages. They are adversarial with the other party’s lawyer and client and only communicate with the other party through their lawyer. During litigation, the parties are told not to communicate with each other directly and only to communicate through their lawyers. Consequently, their attorney’s fees increase and the inefficient communication process prolongs the length of time required for the court to resolve their dispute.|
|Financial Information||Specific financial information is voluntarily disclosed at the start of the mediation .||Parties are mandated by court order to exchange material and relevant information. Disputes can arise as to whether all information should be disclosed.|
|The Process||Series of 3-way sessions between the two parties.
Attorneys may be present.
|Meetings between attorney and clients. Court appearances including (if needed) depositions, motions to judge requesting additional court orders to the other party, and trial.|
Mediator and lawyer(s), if any paid hourly fees for sessions.
No retainer fees to mediator and Lawyer(s). Mediator charges flat Fee for drafting agreement.
If expert fees apply, parties often agree to share cost of neutral experts.
Lawyers charge higher hourly fee from initial retainer. Party commencing the law suit pays court filing fees. Parties often use and pay their own experts. Attorney’s fees apply to Meetings, correspondence, drafting of documents, including motions, and court appearances. An additional retainer often requested, if case cannot be settled and goes to trial.
Format: goodlawfirm.com Alla Royberg, Attorney/Mediator
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