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, Esq. is an expert in designing and managing post settlement proceedings in class action and mass torts cases. Mr. Levy created JAMS Class Action Settlement Adjudication Program and is a founding member of the JAMS bankruptcy practice.

Lawyers and their clients have confidence in Mr. Levy because he pays attention to the details. The processes he designs and oversees have integrity that yields predictable and consistent outcomes.

Settlement Master/Ombudsman – Practice Area Expertise

  • Business/Commercial Transactions
  • Bankruptcy Claims & Preferences
  • Consumer Finance, Credit & Banking
  • Construction Defect & Building Products
  • Employment & Civil Rights
  • Environment & Toxic Torts
  • High Tech/Intellectual Property
  • Insurance Products
  • Limited Partnership Disputes & Dissolutions
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Securities & Antitrust

Representative Settlement Master/Ombudsman Responsibilities

  • Negotiation and adoption of plans of allocation
  • Development of damages matrixes
  • Elimination of invalid claims
  • Individualized awards based on individual circumstances
  • Quality control measures to ensure consistency of process and awards

Representative Matters

  • Advisor, The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (International settlement involving more than 55,000 claims for life insurance benefits)
  • Chief Adjudicator, the African American Farmers Cases (Pigford v. U.S. Department of Agriculture) (25,000 Civil Rights actions based on alleged historical discrimination)
  • Judge Pro Tempore, In re General Chemical Richmond Works Cases (Mediated settlement and oversaw distribution of settlement funds to 65,000 claimants resulting from toxic release)
  • Mediator, Hanlon v. Chrysler Motors (Fee mediation relating to settlement of national Product Liability action alleging defective mini-van door latches)
  • Mediator, In re BKP Securities (Class action by Limited Partners of hedge fund against General Partner)
  • Mediator, Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Premium Litigation (National MDL class action involving all purchasers of vanishing premium life insurance policies)
  • Mediator, Masonite Hardboard Siding Cases (National Product Liability class action involving allegedly defective hardboard siding)
  • Settlement Master, Cemwood Hardboard Siding Cases (National Product Liability class action involving allegedly defective products)
  • Settlement Master, In re Catacarb Cases (Allocation of finite settlement fund among 11,000 claimants resulting from refinery airborne toxic release)
  • Settlement Master, In re Cryptosporidium Cases (Class of 4,000 Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Action based on contamination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin municipal water system)
  • Settlement Master, Lesser v. IKON (class action regarding corporate sales tax liability)
  • Settlement Ombudsman, In re Providian Credit Card Cases (Settlement of coordinated federal and state cases nationwide involving 24,000,000 class members)
  • Special Master, Atchison Topeka Railway Company v. INA, et al. (National coordinated insurance coverage action involving more than 600 contaminated sites throughout the United States)
  • Special Master, Barnett v. Glenborough Federal Bank (Judge for all purposes, by appointment, presiding over 5,000 limited partnership claims)
  • Special Master, Beloit Liquidating Trust (Systematic mediation and arbitration of claims and preferences arising out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Proceeding)
  • 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

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


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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