Arbitrators, Mediators & Facilitators

Not all disputes end up in Court. Either by contract or post-dispute agreement, parties regularly attempt to resolve their disputes through arbitration or facilitative mediation. Dickinson Wright has more than a dozen senior partners, including former judges, who regularly serve as arbitrators, mediators and facilitators. They combine the skills of seasoned negotiators, the battle-tested experience of trial advocates, and the sage judgment that have earned the respect of their professional peers throughout the business communities in which they practice.

Our lawyers are at the top of their respective fields, with all the federal, state and tribunal certifications and years of dispute resolution experience in the following areas:

• Automotive supplier and commercial disputes

• Banking, securities and investor issues

• Commercial disputes, including non-competition agreements, shareholder contests and "business divorces"

• Employment and labor disputes

• Insurance coverage disputes

• Legal and medical malpractice

• Matrimonial and family law disputes

• Real estate and construction industry disputes

• Software and technology issues

Representative Forums

Dickinson Wright attorneys have facilitated settlements and served as arbitrators in hundreds of cases from coast-to-coast and internationally. Engagements are often by the selection of the court, counsel or parties. In addition, our lawyers arbitrate and facilitate cases through court-administered case evaluation panels. Dickinson Wright attorneys also are listed with many national panels, including the American Arbitration Association, National Arbitration Forum, FINRA and JAMS.

Prominent Positions in the Field

Our arbitrators and mediators include:

Dennis W. Archer (Detroit), former Michigan Supreme Court Justice and former President of the American Bar Association, and Michigan Bar Association.

Gary L. Birnbaum (Phoenix) has served as a neutral in more than 500 arbitration or mediation proceedings, and has been a member of the National Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association for more than 30 years and also serves on the Mediation Panels of the AAA and the Counselors of Real Estate. 

Lawrence G. Campbell (Detroit) has served as a neutral and party-selected arbitrator in domestic and international arbitrations regarding a wide variety of commercial, business and complex civil disputes.

Thomas M. Donnell (Nashville) serves as a mediator in the Tennessee market in commercial, property loss, personal injury, and product liability disputes.

Joan Ellis (Washington, DC) is a former Administration Patent Judge and serves as a panelist for the American Arbitration Association on complex cases involving commercial, tort and intellectual property issues.

M. Reid Estes (Nashville) is a Rule 31 certified mediator in Tennessee covering a broad range of issues, including FMLA, FLSA, Title VII, Stored Communications Act, construction and breach of contract disputes, and insurance agency/business dispute cases.

Richard A. Friedlander (Phoenix) has over 15 years of ADR experience handling numerous complex construction and commercial disputes, and is panel member on several of AAA’s panels and a founding member of the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals (Ariz.).

Timothy H. Howlett (Detroit) is a member of the Panel of Employment Arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association and has presided over several high-profile employment cases.

Dennis C. Kolenda (Grand Rapids) was former Chief Judge of the Kent County Circuit Court and presided over 600 trials, including several complex commercial, labor and tort cases, and negotiated hundreds of settlements in commercial, tort, and domestic relations cases.

Michael Miller (Toronto) has a Masters of Law degree in alternative dispute resolution and has completed over 160 mediations.

Francis R. Ortiz (Detroit), specializes in investor, securities, insurance and ERISA disputes.

Edward H. Pappas (Bloomfield Hills) is a former President of the State Bar of Michigan, a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators who has completed over 250 complex commercial mediations, and an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association's Large Complex Case Panel.

James A. Samborn (Ann Arbor) has served as an arbitrator and mediator for over 19 years, and is on the American Arbitration Association's Large, Complex Case Panel of Arbitrators, as well as the AAA's Panel of Construction Arbitrators and Panel of Commercial Arbitrators.

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