Lester J. Levy, Esq. has been a full time neutral for more than 20 years. Mr. Levy has handled complex securities and financial markets disputes involving large banking institutions, hedge funds, directors and officers, municipalities, and trusts, with complex issues as well as intricate relationships between multiple parties. As an arbitrator in financial disputes, Mr. Levy is known for his ability to quickly grasp complex facts and for his willingness to make fair and thoughtful decisions based on the facts and the law. Mr. Levy serves as a mediator, arbitrator, settlement master/ombudsman and special master/referee in areas such as:
Matters handled by Mr. Levy include the following:
- Stull v. Bank of America: Settled Qui Tam action brought on behalf of the State of California and more than 1,400 political subdivisions during the first phase of trial. More than $5 billion in damages sought, alleging that Bank of America failed to escheat unclaimed funds, charged excess fees, and failed to make timely and proper investments.
- In re Providian Credit Card Cases: Settlement Ombudsman for largest settlement ever by a U.S. credit card company in a consumer banking case. Settlement of coordinated federal and state cases nationwide involved 24 million class members who alleged that Providian had engaged in widespread misconduct by charging cardholders unlawful, excessive interest and late charges, and by promoting and selling to cardholders “add-on products” promising illusory benefits and services.
- Beloit Liquidating Trust: Mediated several hundred claims and preferences in a $6 billion bankruptcy. The mediations were conducted in various locations pursuant to a comprehensive ADR order of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The case involved secured and unsecured creditors.
- In re BKP Securities: Mediated class action by Limited Partners of hedge fund against General Partner and related entities.
- Hodge v. Franklin Select Realty Trust; Vigneau v. Franklin Resources: Mediated class action alleging various misconduct regarding real estate trusts.
- In re MediaVision: Mediated national securities class action.
- Barnett v. Glenborough Federal Bank: Judge for all purposes, by Special Master appointment, presiding over 5,000 limited partnership claims against a bank including deciding motions for summary judgment in class action involving limited partnerships and financial institutions.
- In re Fountain View, Inc.: Supervised systematic mediation of multiple elder abuse cases against bankrupt nursing home. Pursuant to an order of Bankruptcy Court in the Central District of Los Angeles, the cases were mediated prior to any consideration of lifting the automatic stay.
- In re ManuLife: Mediated class action arising from the sale of "vanishing premium" whole life insurance policies involving approximately 160,000 policyholders. Allegations involve the representations made to policy holders about the length of time it would take the amount of the annual dividends to overtake the amount of the annual premium payments.
- 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
- Former 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
- “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.”
- Class Action/Mass Tort
- Federal Law
- Financial Markets
- Higher Education & Title IX
- Intellectual Property
- Personal Injury/Torts
- Professional Liability
- Real Property
- Settlement Master/Ombudsman
- Special Master/Discovery Referee
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