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N. Damali Peterman, Esq.
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N. Damali Peterman, Esq.

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business & Commercial
Civil Rights
Education Law
Employment Law
Energy & Utilities
Entertainment & Sports
Higher Education & Title IX
Intellectual Property
International & Cross-Border
Professional Liability
Real Estate & Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

N. Damali Peterman, Esq., joins JAMS as a distinguished conflict resolution expert, neutral and problem solver. With over 20 years of ADR experience working as a mediator, conflict resolution trainer, ADR entrepreneur and corporate transactional lawyer in private and in-house practice, Ms. Peterman is renowned for her innovative and engaging ways to help companies, institutions, nonprofits, government agencies and individuals prevent, manage and resolve conflict. 

Throughout her career, Ms. Peterman has been active in many different areas of conflict resolution, including as a mediator in breach of contract, commercial, employment/EEOC, intellectual property, family and housing disputes. She has worked across a broad swath of industries, including banking, utilities, telecommunications, entertainment, food and beverage, and retail. Ms. Peterman empowers her clients by instilling a sense of agency and self-determination during their disputes. Counsel often comment on her ability to find a path to resolution even when there appears to be no viable solutions. 

Prior to joining JAMS, Ms. Peterman founded Breakthrough ADR, a global conflict resolution firm that helps organizations resolve conflict and teaches people how to listen, negotiate and resolve everyday situations in the workplace and beyond. Through Breakthrough ADR, she routinely addresses acute and chronic inter- and intra-company conflict and provides conflict resolution/mediation training and conflict coaching to thousands of individuals and companies.   

Prior to Breakthrough ADR, Ms. Peterman founded a law firm focusing on corporate and other business transactions. Previously, she was an assistant general counsel at Deloitte LLP and an associate at the global law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. At both of these institutions, Ms. Peterman focused on corporate transactions, including deal structuring and contract negotiations.

Ms. Peterman believes that, in addition to enabling positive business changes, ADR is critical to empowering positive social change. To this end, through Breakthrough ADR and community organizations, she has been privileged to train hundreds of law enforcement officers in New York City and elsewhere in ADR-based techniques for de-escalation and resolving conflict without the use of force. Ms. Peterman relishes seeing the breakthrough moments that these officers routinely have as they progress through training and learn new techniques to help navigate conflict.   

Ms. Peterman travels globally to teach workshops in negotiation and mediation and to judge mediation competitions. She also virtually teaches students, educators and other professionals across the world. Ms. Peterman is a highly sought after speaker, and she has been featured on various television networks and in many magazines and newspapers.

Ms. Peterman obtained her J.D. from Howard University School of Law, her M.A. in international policy studies/conflict resolution from Middlebury Institute of International Studies and her B.A. from Spelman College. 

Ms. Peterman is fluent in Spanish; is conversational in Japanese and has limited language skills in Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Portuguese and Dutch. She has traveled extensively throughout five continents.

Representative Matters

Ms. Peterman has handled a wide range of corporate and business/commercial matters as a neutral and as counsel, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, corporate finance, fairness opinions, business combinations, restructuring deals, joint ventures, licensing and real estate transactions.

Representative Matters

  • Business & Commercial
      • Mediated multiple commercial disputes across a variety of industries 
      • Mediated multiple cases between co-founders, boards of directors and management
      • Mediated cases between general contractors and subcontractors regarding breach of contract
      • Mediated multiple cases between employees with respect to separation of employment, harassment, discrimination, relocation, etc.
      • Mediated multiple cases between high-net-worth family members regarding elder care and financial planning
      • Mediated commercial and residential real estate transactions and disputes  
      • Represented the client in connection with the acquisition of a major snack company in a cross-border transaction
      • Represented the client in the sale of auto parts castings businesses in a cross-border transaction
      • Represented the client in the acquisition of wind power farms
      • Represented financial advisor to the board of directors in a $1.3-billion acquisition
      • Represented financial advisor to the board of directors in its $661 million acquisition
      • Represented financial advisor to the special committee of the board of directors in a $24.4-billion going-private acquisition
      • Represented the client in drafting, negotiating and amending co-venture and licensing agreements with major beauty brands
      • Represented the client with its senior notes offering
      • Represented the client in connection with financial guaranty insurance restructuring

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Admitted to practice law in New York
  • International Ombudsman Association, 2021
  • National Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, 2021
  • Association for Conflict Resolution, Greater New York Chapter, 2019
  • New York State Dispute Resolution Association, 2017
  • New York City Bar Association, Women in the Legal Profession Committee, 2008
  • American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, 2008
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, 1998


  • Social Change Agent of the Year, National Institute for Mentoring Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs (NIMBLE), 2019
  • Semifinalist, Fulbright Global Scholar Award
  • Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Scholar/Tory Burch Foundation Alumni, 2018–2019
  • Applause Award for Excellence in Client Service, Deloitte, 2017


  • Harvard Business School Online, Negotiation Mastery Certificate, Summer 2020 
  • Cornell University ILR School, Professional Neutral Development Certificate, 2019–2020 

Dispute Resolution Training

  • Mediation, negotiation and commercial diplomacy courses as a part of M.A. program at Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, 2000–2002
  • Mediation at the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution/Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague, Netherlands, 2002
  • ADR courses as a part of J.D. program at Howard University School of Law, 2005–2008
  • Basic mediation training, advanced mediation training and a 13-week apprenticeship program at the New York Peace Institute, 2013–2014
  • Special education mediation training at the New York Peace Institute and New York State Dispute Resolution Association, 2017
  • Advanced commercial mediation training at the New York City Bar Association, 2018
  • Employment law mediation training and other course the requirements for the Professional Neutral Development Certificate at Cornell ILR School, 2019–2020
  • Negotiation Mastery (eight-week course) at Harvard Business School Online, 2020


Media Appearances


Ms. Peterman is a podcast pro and has appeared as a guest speaker on numerous shows. Since 2019, she has also hosted her own weekly podcast, “Breakthrough Barriers with Damali,” where she and a co-host offer solutions to help callers navigate conflict. The nearly 50 episodes address business, personal, family and societal challenges, and are available online here:

Background and Education

  • Breakthrough ADR, LLC, 2016–present
    • Chief Executive Officer
  • Damali Law LLC, 2016–present
    • Chief Executive Officer
  • Howard University School of Law, 2020–present 
    • Adjunct Professor
    • ADR Program Advisory Board Member
  • Deloitte LLP, 2014–2016
    • Assistant General Counsel
  • Lawyers Alliance for New York, 2011
    • Secondee
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges, 2008–2013
    • Senior Associate
  • Global Young Leaders Conference, 2005
    • Faculty Advisor
  • Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center, 2003–2004
    • Assistant Director
    • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • The Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution; The Hague, Netherlands; Summer 2002
  • Nagoya University of Foreign Studies; Nagoya, Japan; Summer 2001
  • Denmark International Studies Program; Copenhagen, Denmark; Fall 1999     
  • Centro de Idiomas; Oaxaca, Mexico; Summer 1999
  • J.D., Howard University School of Law, 2008
  • M.A., Middlebury Institute of International Studies, 2002
  • B.A., Spelman College, 2000


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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