Shelley Rossoff Olsen, Esq.

T: 212-751-2700
F: 212-751-4099


Available nationwide

Shelley Rossoff Olsen, Esq., the Special Master of the New York City Asbestos Litigation, is a veteran ADR professional and a recognized authority on dispute resolution and facilitated settlements. A former Senior Court Mediator and Summary Jury Trial Judge in the Supreme Court, New York County Civil Division from 2005-2009, she has settled thousands of matters involving a wide range of issues. Ms. Olsen is a full-time mediator and arbitrator specializing in complex dispute resolution and is highly respected by both the plaintiff and defense bars.

Preceding her service as a Senior Court Mediator and Summary Trial Judge, Ms. Olsen was a principal court attorney in the Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department for five years. Prior to her career in public service, Ms. Olsen developed her extensive civil law background by representing both plaintiffs and defendants, through her work at three prominent New York City law firms where she tried complex medical malpractice, labor law, lead poisoning, premises liability, and personal injury cases.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Ms. Olsen has resolved a wide variety of complex disputes, including the following:

  • Arbitration
  • Aviation
  • Business/Commercial
  • Construction 
  • Insurance/Re-Insurance Coverage
  • Labor Law
  • Maritime
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury and Torts: automobile accidents, food and drugs, negligence, Jones Act, pharmaceutical, premises liability, products liability, toxic torts
  • Professional Liability: medical and legal malpractice

Representative Matters

  • Aviation: Settled dozens of cases for the families of crash victims
  • Business/Commercial: Settled numerous business disputes in the financial, entertainment, banking, and technology industries including:
    • Art counterfeiting
    • Broker-dealer and stock and bond disputes
    • Commercial contracts
    • Entertainment licensing
    • ERISA
    • Partnership dissolutions
    • Valuation of assets
  • Construction/Labor Law
    • Court Attorney at First Department during evolution of ladder law cases resulting in the Blake decision
    • Labor Law sec. 240(1) and 241(6) cases
    • Settled thousands of Labor Law matters
  • Insurance/Re-Insurance: Resolved hundreds of cases involving coverage issues including:
    • Anti-subrogation
    • Coinsurance
    • D&O liability
    • Disaster insurance
    • Primacy of coverage 
    • Valuation and property damage
  • Maritime/Admiralty: Negotiated numerous settlements involving injuries aboard sea vessels including:
    • Catastrophic injury
    • Claims arising under the Jones Act
    • Failure to maintain a safe work environment
    • Negligence
    • Slip and falls
    • Wrongful death
  • Personal Injury: Settled all types of personal injury actions including:
    • Catastrophic injury claims including brain-damaged infants, elevator and crane malfunction injuries, quadriplegia, electrocution, amputation, and disfigurement
    • Product liability including medical devices, commercial equipment, automotive, and design defect
    • Toxic tort including claims involving asbestos, mold, lead, and radiation
    • Wrongful death including subway track accidents and nursing home cases
  • Professional Liability: Tried and settled numerous medical, legal, accountant, and architect malpractice matters including:
    • Comingling of funds
    • Fee disputes
    • Labor & Delivery, surgical, diagnostic, informed consent, and emergency department liability
    • Professional misconduct

Comments from Counsel

What Counsel Say About Shelley Rossoff Olsen’s Mediation Style and Skills
  • "In a word, mediator was excellent. Complex, serious wrongful death case handled deftly & without any needless browbeating."
  • "Mediator Olsen was terrific, determined, patient, persistent, cool, pleasant and effective."
  • "Ms. Rossoff Olsen is a wonderful mediator- knowledgeable, works hard and is effective and fair."
  • "Shelley was fantastic. This was a very difficult mediation with many different moving parts. Shelley knew which buttons to push, who to pressure when and how to ultimately achieve settlement with difficult parties involved. Excellent job!"
  • "Probably the most contentious mediation I have participated in. Shelley was great and handled it perfectly, never losing her cool and keeping on target."
  • "The mediation experience with Ms. Olsen was extraordinary. On several occasions I was ready to leave without a settlement. Ms. Olsen repeatedly urged me to stay and continue. I stayed. The case is settled. There would have been no settlement without Ms. Olsen."

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Speaker, "Mock Mediation: Early Resolution of Claims," The Association for Healthcare Risk Management of New York Inc., 2017
  • Speaker, "2016 Annual Update: Precedents and Statutes for Personal Injury Litigators," New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2016
  • Speaker, “Litigating Asbestos Cases in Today’s Environment,” Perrin Conferences LLC, 2015
  • Speaker, "How Mediators Think," New York Law School's Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills Program, 2015
  • Moderator, "Effective Mediation Advocacy Techniques in Complex Personal Injury Cases," JAMS Mediation Week, 2015
  • Panelist, "Recognition of American Bar Association Mediation Week," New York University Law School's Mediation Organization (NMO), 2015
  • Named #2 of Top Ten Mediators in New York State, New York Law Journal, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Appointed Special Master of the New York City Asbestos Litigation, 2013
  • Named as one of the Ten Best Mediators in New York State, New York Law Journal, 2010
  • Member, National Academy of Distinguished Mediators, 2012
  • Tort Advisory Committee Member, Supreme Court, New York County, 2005-present
  • Tort Litigation Committee Member, New York City Bar Association, 2005-2015
  • Courts of Superior Jurisdiction, New York City Bar Association, 2015-present
  • Co-chair, Medical Malpractice Committee, New York City Bar Association, 1995-1999
  • Speaker, "Defense Association of New York (DANY) Diversity Initiative," Diversity Project Honoree, New York Law Journal, 2015
  • Speaker, "Using Proven and Successful Mediation Strategies To Settle The Difficult Cases" Webinar Program, Defense Association of New York, 2014
  • Panelist, "What You Need to Know About ADR" CLE, NYCLA's Bridge the Gap Program, 2014
  • Speaker, New York State Gas & Electric Utilities Claims Managers Association, 2011
  • Panelist, ”What Defense Attorneys Should Know About How To Settle a Case” CLE Program, Defense Association of New York, 2010
  • Panelist, Mediation CLE, New York State Trial Lawyers, 2010 
  • Panelist, ‘Mediation: The Better Solution’, CLE Program, Rockland County Bar Association, 2010
  • Panelist, Mediation and ADR in the New York Courts CLE Program, New York Women’s Bar Association, 2010

Background and Education

  • Mediator and Arbitrator, full-time practice since 2010
  • Summary Jury Trial Judge, Supreme Court, New York County, Civil Division, 2008-2009
  • Senior Court Mediator, Supreme Court, New York County, Civil Branch, 2005-2009
  • Principal Court Attorney, Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, 2000-2005
  • Attorney, Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman, 1996-2000
  • Senior Associate, Martin, Clearwater & Bell, 1994-1996
  • Senior Attorney, Bower & Gardner, 1987-1994
  • Assistant District Attorney, Nassau County, 1984-1987
  • J.D., New York Law School, 1981
  • B.S., New York University, 1977


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