Hon. Ariel E. Belen (Ret.)

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International
Hon. Ariel E. Belen (Ret.) is an accomplished international mediator and arbitrator at JAMS. As a well-known figure in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) he has developed a diverse practice and is sought after in many areas of conflict resolution.  Judge Belen formerly served  as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department  from 2008 until 2012 and served as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court trial and appellate terms  from 1995 until 2012. Justice Belen helped create the Commercial Division in Kings County (Brooklyn) and then presided over complex commercial cases from 2002 to 2005. Over the course of nearly 18 years of distinguished judicial service and during his time at JAMS, Judge Belen has developed a reputation as a calm, intelligent, fair, and hardworking neutral. 

Since joining JAMS in 2012, Judge Belen has acted as an arbitrator or mediator in hundreds of complex disputes covering a wide range of practice areas.  As a result of his reputation on the bench and his experience at JAMS, Judge Belen is also a highly sought after special master.  In particular, Judge Belen was appointed as the Federal Facilitator to guide the Joint Remedial Process in the New York City stop and frisk and housing arrests class action settlements, as described in the Remedies Opinion in Floyd v. City of New York, 959 F. Supp. 2d 668 (SDNY 2013). In this program, Judge Belen is charged with assisting the City of New York and its residents with developing sustainable reforms to the stop and frisk and housing arrest practices of the New York City Police Department through a community based civic engagement and remedial process.

A prolific writer, Justice Belen co-authored New York Trial Notebook, a comprehensive trial practice treatise. He was an instructor for many years at the New York State Judicial Institute where he taught all newly appointed or elected New York judges in the art of judging.

Justice Belen is fluent in Spanish.  He can effectively communicate with Spanish speaking litigants and clients in all matters. Download Justice Belen's biography in Spanish.

Representative International Matters

Since joining JAMS in 2012, Judge Belen has acted as a mediator or arbitrator in a wide range disputes covering Business/Commercial, Construction, Employment, Personal Injury, and has served as a Special Master for high profile cases. His international mediation and arbitration experience includes:
  • Chaired international arbitration matter concerning breach of contract and other claims between major international telecommunication conglomerates
  • Arbitrated executive compensation and deferred compensation claims upon the termination of a high level executive in a multinational corporation based in Europe
  • Mediated a business commercial matter involving a joint venture with a Taiwanese firm and the financial damages and partnership dissolution as a result of the terminated venture
  • Mediated a case between U.S. based investors and a Latin American telecommunications venture
  • Served as a special master on a matter related to authority issues in a business commercial case involving a Korean real estate contract
  • Mediated a business commercial matter involving a breach of contract and alleged fraud claims in a patent transaction between American and European parties
  • Mediated a business commercial matter related to a breach of contract and misrepresentation between American and Chinese parties

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Select Honors 
    • New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Tenth Anniversary Award, 2002
    • William Goldstein Memorial Award, Association of Law Secretaries of the Supreme and Surrogate’s Courts, 2007
    • Hon. John Carro Award for Judicial Excellence, Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage, 2010 
    • Puerto Rican Bar Association Award Recipient, 2007
    • Saint Thomas More Award, Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County, 2007
    • Jurist of the Year Award, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, 2005
    • Award of Meritorious Service, The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County, 2003
    • Kings County District Attorney Jurist Award, 1997
  • Memberships
    • Member, Judicial Task Force on the New York State Constitution, July 2016-Present
    • Member, CPR Advisory Council: International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, 2013-Present
    • Member, Board of Advisors, Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, December 2015-Present
    • Chair, ADR Committee, New York County Lawyers Association, 2013-2016
    • Member, New York State Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh and Thirteenth Judicial Districts
    • Member, Committee on Character and Fitness, Appellate Division, First Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York
    • Member, Cornell University Committee on Alumni Trustee Nominations, 2013-Present
    • Vice Chair, Cornell University Council, 1998-2010
    • Member, Cornell University Council, 1996-Present
    • Member, New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Executive Committee
    • Member, New York State Bar Association, Committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules 
    • Member, New York City Bar Association, Labor and Employment Committee
    • Member, Hispanic National Bar Association, Task Force on Judicial Selection
  • Professional Activities
    • Member, Judicial Task Force on the New York State Constitution, July 2016-Present
    • Fellow, Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center 
    • Vice Chair, Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission on Minorities, New York State Unified Court System, 1998-2015
    • Founding Member, The Cervantes Society, 1996-Present
    • Member, Task Force to Implement the New York State Unified Court System’s Program on the Profession and the Courts Subcommittee on Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Subcommittee on Part 130 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, 1996-1997
    • Member, Supreme Court Justices Association of the City of New York
    • Member, Brooklyn Bar Association
    • Member, Cornell Latino Alumni Association 
    • Member, Puerto Rican Bar Association
  • Publication
    • Co-author along with Edward Birnbaum and Carl Grasso, New York Trial Notebook, (James Publishing, 2008) (supplemented annually), an 850-page comprehensive practice treatise for the trial of a civil case in New York
  • Lectures and Teaching
    • Presented to the Federal Bar Council at the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, "Effective Techniques in Mediation Advocacy", March 2016
    • Presented to a delegation of attorneys from the Japanese Medical Malpractice Information Center, “Medical Malpractice Mediation in New York”, JAMS, 2014
    • Moderator, Constructive Perspectives, "Are New York's Construction Safety and Insurance Laws Serving the Public?", New York City Bar Association, March 2014
    • Moderator, CLE Program, "Effective Techniques in Mediation Advocacy", JAMS, February 2013
    • Speaker, "2013 CPLR Update: 2012-2013 Major Appellate Decisions", Colombian Lawyers Association, April 2013
    • Moderator, "Effective Techniques in Mediation Advocacy", Asian American Bar Association of New York, April 2013
    • Moderator, "Bootcamp for Lawyers: The Ultimate Trial Clinic", New York State Trial Lawyers Institute, May 2013
    • Served as a member of the New York State Unified Court System Civil Law Curriculum Development Committee and taught for many years at the New York State Judicial Institute
    • Cornell Extern and Shadow Programs and the Brooklyn Law School Judicial Clerkship Clinical Program. Clinical programs at Hofstra Law School, Brooklyn Law School, and St. John’s University Law School

Background and Education

  • Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department, Supreme Court of the State of New York, 2008-2012
  • Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, 1995-2012
    • Administrative Judge, Civil Term, Supreme Court, Kings County, 2007-2008
    • Associate Justice, Appellate Term, Supreme Court, Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts, 2005-2012
    • Justice of the Commercial Division, Supreme Court of the State of New York, 2002-2005
  • Chief, Bronx Borough Office, City of New York Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, Tort Division, 1994-1995
  • Deputy Chief, Brooklyn Tort Division, City of New York Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, 1993-1994
  • Assistant Corporation Counsel, City of New York Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, 1990-1993
  • Supervising Attorney, Legal Aid Society of New York, Criminal Defense Division, 1986-1989
  • Criminal Trial Attorney, Legal Aid Society of New York, Criminal Defense Division, 1981-1986
  • J.D., with Specialization in International Legal Affairs, Cornell Law School, 1981
  • B.A., cum laude, Brooklyn College, 1978

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This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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