Lester Levy

Lester J. Levy, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator

Case Manager
John Graber
T: 212-607-2765
620 8th Ave, 34th Floor, New York, New York 10018

Lester J. Levy is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Lester J. Levy, Esq. is the Founder and former Managing Director of the Class Action and Mass Tort Settlement Adjudication Program at JAMS. He has successfully mediated, arbitrated and mastered thousands of cases in such substantive areas as: Antitrust, Securities, Bankruptcy, Finance, Insurance Coverage, Product Liability, Limited Partnerships, Environmental, Employment, Toxic Torts and Real Estate.

Representative Matters

  • Chief Adjudicator/Settlement Master, Black Farmers Cases, Native American Cases, and Women and Latino American Cases against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for civil rights violations relating to the provision of low interest loans and emergency benefits to minority farmers throughout the United States.  Mr. Levy designed, implemented and oversaw the adjudication of more than 50,000 individual claims within these mass actions, awarding more than $2 billion in relief
  • Mediator, Successive class actions brought by numerous municipalities throughout the State of Missouri against multiple national cellular carriers for alleged non-payment of sales and use taxes in connection with in-state sales of cellular telephone services
  • Mediator, Antitrust cases brought by private parties and foreign and domestic governmental agencies against North American and European air carriers for the alleged agreements to set certain anti-competitive tariff rates
  • Mediator, Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Premium Litigation, $500 million settlement of national MDL class action involving life insurance purchasers who alleged misrepresentation in connection with the sale of “vanishing premium” life insurance policies
  • Mediator/Settlement Master, In re Catacarb Cases, settlement and allocation of awards to more than 10,000 mass claimants affected by 13-day airborne environmental release of catacarb, a catalyst used in the refining of gasoline products.  Claimants were compensated by proximity to release and severity of injury through abbreviated hearings or pre-determined awards
  • Advisor, The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, international settlement involving more than 55,000 claims for insurance benefits arising from the systematic appropriation of life insurance policies during World War II
  • Settlement Master/Ombudsman, In re Providian Credit Card Cases, settlement of coordinated nationwide federal and state class actions involving 24,000,000 class members, alleging false advertising and fraud in connection with the provision of various card member benefits, add-on services and related charges
  • Settlement Master, National employment class action brought by 200,000 special rate employees against the US Department of Treasury for alleged failure to pay wage and hour benefits
  • Special Master, In re Beloit Liquidating Trust, designed and implemented systematic mediation and arbitration of thousands of claims and preference actions arising out of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Proceeding involving the liquidation of a large paper manufacturer in Beloit, Wisconsin
  • Mediator, Weekend Warrior Cases, settlement of national product liability class action alleging design defects in the manufacture of sport utility trailers
  • Mediator, false advertising class action against international manufacturer of running shoes relating to claims of musculoskeletal benefits
  • Special Master, In re Cryptosporidium Cases, class of 4,000 residents in Milwaukee, Wisconsin alleging personal injuries and wrongful deaths allegedly caused by the introduction of Cryptosporidium contamination into the city’s drinking water system
  • Mediator/Settlement Master, In re General Chemical Cases, mediated settlement and oversaw distribution of settlement funds to 65,000 mass claimants impacted by airborne toxic plume resulting from a fire at a major oil and gas refinery
  • Mediator, In re BKP Securities, class action brought by limited partners of hedge fund against general partner for alleged fraudulent self-dealings
  • Mediator, Hanlon v. Chrysler Motors, multi-million dollar attorney fee dispute arising from the settlement of a national product liability action regarding NHTSA allegations of defective design of mini-van door latches
  • Special Master, Wang v. Chinese Daily News, settlement of wage and hour litigation by Chinese-speaking employees of a Los Angeles daily newspaper
  • Special Master, allocated settlement proceeds and available apartments to class of tenants in low and moderate income housing development in connection with a municipal redevelopment plan
  • Mediator, national class action alleging design defects in in-home heating units, with an emphasis on the availability of insurance coverage to assist in the remedial program settlement
  • Special Master, Arbitrated appeals from settlement of national class action alleging defective wooden deck sealant and paint product manufacturer
  • Discovery Master, Masonite Hardboard Siding Cases, national product liability class action involving allegedly defective hardboard siding
  • Discovery Master, In re Cemwood Siding Cases, national product liability class action involving allegedly defective products
  • Mediator, Atchison Topeka Railway Company v. INA, et al., national coordinated insurance coverage action involving more than 600 contaminated sites throughout the United States
  • Mediator, land use dispute (NEPA) between major university and citizenry of city and county over growth plans, specifically relating to projected increases in traffic and potential shortages of water, housing and other services
  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • Energy & Environmental Trailblazer, National Law Journal, 2016
  • "ADR Swiftly Compensates Parties in Mass Actions and Toxic Tort Cases," New Jersey Law Journal, April 12, 2016
  • "Mediation Can Accelerate Cleanup," New Jersey Law Journal, March 7, 2016
  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Founder, JAMS Class Action and Mass Tort Settlement Program
  • Registered Mediator, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Adjunct Professor, Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of San Francisco Law School
  • Member, ADR Panels for the Northern California Federal District Court, and the Superior Courts of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and San Mateo Counties
  • Member, ADR Panels for the Bankruptcy Courts in the Districts of Delaware and the Southern District of New York
  • Former Vice Chair & Member, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Section of the American Bar Association
  • Chair & Member, ADR Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2005-2008
  • Vice Chair, ADR Committee of ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER)
  • Founder, JAMS Environmental Judicial College
  • Trained in mediation/negotiation at Harvard Law School (Roger Fisher, author of Getting to Yes)
  • Written and lectured on ADR to Bar Associations including the ABA, IBA, law firms, private companies, and law schools throughout the United States
  • “A Comment on Communication and Complex Case Mediation,” Daily Journal, September 17, 2010
  • "Mediator Creates Healthy Settlement Environment," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, March 23, 2007
  • Munger, Tolles & Olson, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, 1986-1994
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Irving R. Kaufman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1985-1986
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 1985; Chief Articles Editor, Cardozo Law Review
  • B.Mus., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 1981, Classical Guitar Performance and Composition

Counsel Comments

    • “Lester’s honest and direct style creates a trusting relationship and open dialogue with attorneys and their clients. He transforms the most complex and emotionally challenging disputes into a process the parties can use to constructively resolve their differences. He quickly identifies the key issues, sets a course of action including a range of possible settlements, then gets it done.”
    • "...There are a lot of people who are not in the courtroom...that ought to be thanked, in particular, Mr. Levy, the special master, who, from my observations...has done an outstanding job shepherding this through, a very lengthy, time-consuming, difficult litigation because of the number of parties; and he simply has done a wonderful job, bringing this to a resolution."   

      - Federal Judge

    • “Lester Levy’s effectiveness as a mediator is the result of both a keen mind and relatable personality. He handles complex issues and challenging personalities with equal aplomb. The hallmark of an effective mediator is evenhanded persistence, and Lester is highly skilled at keeping the parties engaged and moving toward a mutually acceptable resolution.”

    • “Lester takes the time to learn the nuances of each case so he can foster a constructive dialogue between the parties to achieve resolution. He always invests whatever it takes to make sure the case settles, never giving up until the documents are signed.”

    • “Lester is thoughtful, and takes his time to speak directly with each party to better understand the issues. He is deliberate and careful in communicating messages between sides.”

    • “He was very patient yet effective at permitting each side to put forth their arguments which led to a fair resolution for all parties. His knowledge of environmental litigation and the issue that surround it certainly helped move the mediation along.”



Practice Areas

Available nationwide


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