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. has been a full-time ADR professional since 1994, handling more than 1,000 cases. As Special Master and Discovery Referee, by court appointment or agreement of the parties, Lester Levy:
  • Supervises the creation and implementation of discovery plans for the orderly completion of percipient, documentary, and expert discovery
  • Decides motions to compel and substantive legal motions
  • Referees depositions to ensure efficient examination of witnesses
  • Holds prompt telephonic hearings to resolve discovery disputes as they arise

Areas of Special Master/Discovery Referee Matters

  • Business/Commercial Transactions
  • Bankruptcy Claims & Preferences
  • Consumer Finance, Credit & Banking
  • Class Actions & Mass Torts
  • Construction Defect & Building Products
  • Employment & Civil Rights
  • Environmental & Toxic Torts
  • High Tech/Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright & Trademark
  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
  • Land & Water Use
  • Partnership Disputes & Dissolutions
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Securities & Antitrust

Representative Matters

  • Appointed Discovery Referee by Los Angeles Superior Court regarding third-party discovery and sanctions
  • Appointed Discovery Referee by San Francisco Superior Court to oversee deposition of plaintiff in high profile tobacco product liability lawsuit
  • Appointed Judge Pro Tempore by Contra Costa Superior Court to decide motions for summary judgment in class action involving limited partnerships and financial institutions
  • Appointed Referee to monitor deposition of defendant in sexual harassment and racial discrimination case
  • Appointed Settlement Master over 4,000 personal injury claims involving contaminated drinking water in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Appointed Special Master by Federal District Court to decide attorneys' fee motion
  • Appointed Special Master by Federal States District Court for discovery and settlement. Decided numerous discovery motions, including: (1) motions to compel deposition testimony and responses to written discovery requests; (2) request to sample certain real property for possible contamination in the soils and groundwater pursuant to Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; (3) motion seeking the return of allegedly privileged documents under the work product doctrine and attorney client privilege; (4) motions for sanctions; (5) motion to continue the trial date; and (6) motion to bifurcate the trial in order to order the issues to be tried so as to complete the trial as efficiently as possible
  • Appointed Special Master to oversee injunction issued by Federal District Court
  • Managed the private adjudication of more than 25,000 civil rights claims under a Consent Decree entered by the Federal District Court in Washington D.C.
  • Prepared and supervised discovery plan in High Tech matter in Federal District Court
  • 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


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