Lester J. Levy, Esq.

T: 212-751-2700
F: 212-751-4099
Available nationwide
Insurance
Lester J. Levy, Esq. has served as a full time neutral for more than 20 years.  Renowned as a mediator, arbitrator, settlement master/ombudsman, and special master/referee for complex matters that span a wide variety of areas of law, Mr. Levy uses his legal, analytical, and conciliation skills to craft the best possible resolution of each case.  Known for his ability to quickly identify key issues and to recalibrate dynamics between the parties, Mr. Levy is called upon to assist clients with their most difficult matters, often when prior efforts have proven unsuccessful.  Mr. Levy has worked on a broad spectrum of insurance matters related to Directors & Officers (D&O), Errors & Omissions (E&O), Comprehensive General Liability (GCL), reinsurance, life insurance, asbestos, long tail environmental claims, construction defect, and property damage, with claims involving allocation of contributions by multiple primary and excess insurers, and allocation of defense and indemnity obligations.

Representative Matters

  • Mediated dispute as to coverage under a Directors & Officers (D&O) policy for attorneys’ fees incurred in a securities fraud action
  • Mediated dispute between insured and broker, under Errors & Omissions (E&O) policy, over alleged failure to place adequate levels of insurance
  • Mediated environmental insurance case of first impression on remand from California Supreme Court requiring the interpretation of defense and indemnity provisions of multiple historical Comprehensive General Liability (GCL) insurance policies
  • Mediated national coordinated environmental insurance coverage (“buy back”) action by railroad of its longstanding insurance program of primary and excess coverage by multiple insurers for losses at more than 600 environmentally contaminated sites throughout the United States
  • Mediated attorneys’ fees claim under advertising/trademark and bodily injury policy provisions brought by musician against famous rock band
  • Arbitrated dispute related to insurance coverage potentially available under various professional liability policies relating to 105 injured claimants in coordinated medical malpractice action
  • Mediated numerous environmental insurance coverage cases, including issues of liability for defense and/or indemnity, trigger of coverage, allocation, pollution exclusions, expected or intended, voluntary payments, primary versus excess coverage, pilot remediation studies, exhaustion of limits and allocation of risk and settlement among co-primary and excess insurance policies, reinsurance, and pre-tender issues
  • Mediated coverage dispute arising from fire at a vineyard causing damage to valuable vine stock and inventory
  • Mediated significant settlement of insurance coverage profile maintained by asbestos trusts, involving multiple layers of primary and excess insurance coverage over a 30-year period to allocate coverage for multiple policy years, both primary and excess, including lost-policies
  • Appointed Special Master over numerous coordinated environmental coverage actions involving hundreds of contaminated sites nationally
  • Appointed Special Master to oversee multimillion dollar dispute involving "employment practices liability" policy provisions
  • Mediated $500 million settlement class action in connection with vanishing premium life insurance policies
  • Mediated multiple reinsurance disputes between cedents and reinsurers
  • Conducted various insurance appraisal proceedings involving losses of real and personal property destroyed by fire, earthquake and flooding, including valuation of unique objects including wine, fine art, antiques, and classic automobiles
  • Appointed Discovery Master in a variety of insurance coverage cases in both federal and state courts to assist the parties to develop discovery plans and decide discovery disputes including Rule 34 Requests for Inspection of real property
  • Mediated surety disputes related to losses stemming from construction failures and cost overruns
  • Mediated claims by beneficiaries of life insurance policies against insurers for alleged wrongful denial of benefits

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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

Background and Education

  • 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

Disclaimer

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

June 14 - 15, 2017
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