David Ross

David S. Ross, Esq.

JAMS Mediator and Arbitrator

Case Manager
Shakiya Wright-McDuffie
T: 212-607-2761
F: 212-751-4099
620 8th Ave, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10018


David S. Ross, Esq. is a mediator with JAMS, where he has worked as a neutral for more than 30 years. He has successfully resolved thousands of complex two-party and multi-party cases -- including multiple class actions -- and regularly handles high profile cases involving celebrities, politicians and CEO’s of large corporations. Mr. Ross focuses on discrimination and sexual harassment disputes as well as a wide array of business-related cases. His mediation career has been featured in The New York Law Journal and The National Law Journal. He teaches Basic and Advanced negotiation courses at Columbia University Law School and he recently completed The Negotiation Master Class at Harvard Law School (2018).

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Significant experience conducting mediations on virtual platforms, including bringing complex, multi-party matters to successful resolution in a fully remote context
  • Regularly conducts Virtual Mediation Advocacy trainings, including CLE courses on effectively participating in Zoom mediations, for plaintiff and defense firms across the country
  • All types of employment-related cases -- including class actions and FLSA cases -- involving allegations of discrimination based on age, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion and sexual orientation
  • Expertise in settling sexual harassment claims
  • Experience resolving all types of contractual and commercial matters and construction, franchise, partnership dissolution, and personal injury cases
  • Worked with employees and management at several companies, including one of the largest U.S. airlines, to resolve employment-related disputes
  • Certified as a mediator by the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, and the Supreme Court, New York County Commercial Division

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial      
    • Breach of oral and written contract claims by Managing Director against international investment bank
    • High-stakes business dissolution between two medical doctors who conducted medical research studies for major pharmaceutical companies
    • Fraud claims brought by former NHL players against several banks and investment advisors
    • Dozens of multi-million dollar breach of contract claims by senior executives against investment and commercial banks
    • Contract dispute between large U.S. pharmaceutical company and various European and Dutch chemical manufacturers
    • Breach of implied and express warranties and breach of oral contract claims by distributor of electrical parts against manufacturer
    • Dozens of bonus claims by former brokers, traders and research analysts against most of the major investment banks. For example, Mr. Ross resolved a multi-million dollar bonus claim and breach of implied contract claim brought by a former Director of Investment Banking
  • Employment
    • Retaliation claim by 20-year employee against CEO of international advertising firm
    • Claims of hostile work environment and retaliation — including allegations of physical assault and police involvement -- by a part-time employee against a large international retailer
    • Settled an eight plaintiff class action involving FLSA, retaliation, hiring of a minor, spread of hours and failure to accommodate claims against a national warehouse chain
    • Discrimination and sexual harassment claims brought by former employee against radio and television personality
    • Sexual assault and attempted rape charges by female condominium employee against male supervisor and large real estate development company
    • FLSA class action involving thousands of plaintiffs against a national retail chain
    • Sexual harassment and retaliation class action brought by hundreds of female employees of an international air carrier
    • Allegation of rape by senior executive at large technology company
    • Multiple plaintiff action alleging racial profiling against national pharmacy
    • Hundreds of gender discrimination and failure to promote claims brought by female brokers, traders, managers, financial advisors and research analysts against most of the major U.S. investment banks
    • Multi-plaintiff case alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, unlawful termination against medical doctors at a prestigious university
    • Dozens of age discrimination and breach of contract claims against one of the country's largest HMO's
    • Partnership dissolution of prominent NY-based law firm
    • Sexual harassment claims against president of Fortune 500 company
    • Gender discrimination claim by a male employee against a female senior executive at national public relations firm
    • Claims by African American security guards against an entertainment conglomerate alleging racial discrimination, hostile work environment and wrongful termination
    • Claims by a Hispanic male marketing manager that his male supervisor sexually harassed him and retaliated against him by failing to promote him
    • Claim by a female assistant that the CEO of a major insurance carrier retaliated against her and denied her FMLA rights when she refused his sexual advances
    • Retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims brought by an Indian male physician who served as the Director of Clinical Research at a major hospital
    • Claim by the manager of a Broadway production company that he was discriminated against because he was a heterosexual male
    • Claim by a Christian Caucasian male against a bank that he was discriminated against because of his religion and race
    • Age discrimination, ERISA, severance, and libel claims brought by an Executive Vice-President and General Manager of a European bank
    • Wrongful termination claim by a female high school teacher against the school superintendent and the school district
    • Claim by a Managing Director of an investment bank that he was wrongfully terminated when senior management learned he was HIV positive
  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of Law, 1995-present
    • Course Creator and Instructor, Basic Negotiation Skills and Theory
    • Course Creator and Instructor, Advanced Negotiation Skills
  • Author, “From Eye-Rolls to Grimaces: Understanding Body Language in Virtual Mediations,” International Law Quarterly, Winter 2021
  • Author, "Mind of the Master Mediator," JAMS ADR Blog, 2020
  • Inaugural Chair / Facilitator, Rainforest Alliance Honoree Program (2016)
  • Panelist, NYU Law School / ABA Mediation Week (2015)
  • Panelist, Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges (2008)
  • Mediation Trainer, Bar Association of the City of New York; Cornell University School of Labor/Industrial Relations, U.S. Attorney General
  • Editor of a leading negotiation textbook Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes (Harvard University Press, 2005)
  • Co-Chair, Employment Dispute Resolution Systems, NYU Law School
  • Former Member, National Mediation Panels: Merrill Lynch, NASD, AIG
  • Conducts seminars on mediation advocacy & ethics, and negotiation
  • Guest speaker on mediation at ABA Conferences, NYU School of Law, Brooklyn Law School, The Practicing Law Institute, and The American Corporate Counsel Association
  • Authored articles on ADR, including: "Strategic Considerations in Choosing a Mediator" (The Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2002); "The Role of Feelings in Mediation" (Dispute Resolution Alert, February 2010); and "Advanced Negotiation Skills for Lawyers" (ABA Press, 2003)
  • Board of Trustees, The Rainforest Alliance
  • Board of Directors, Friends of Facing History, Inc.
  • Founder, Honors Mentoring Program, The Facing History School
  • President’s Leadership Council, Search for Common Ground
  • Development Committee, Trinity School
  • Convergence Leadership Council (a non-profit that solves social challenges through collaboration)
  • Prior to joining JAMS, Mr. Ross practiced in the litigation department at Cravath, Swaine and Moore
  • LL.M., Alternative Dispute Resolution, Columbia Univ. Law School (1993)
  • J.D., New York University Law School, 1989
    • Moot Court Board
    • Teaching Assistant, Criminal Law
  • B.A., with honors, University of Virginia, 1986
    • Visiting Scholar, Cambridge University, England (1985-1986)

Counsel Comments

    Plaintiff's Counsel
    • “David is an exceptional mediator. He’s thoughtful, insightful, and respectful. Most importantly, David has a unique ability to empathize with our clients and make them feel valued and heard. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with David in the future.”
    • “David Ross is an exceptionally talented, insightful, and effective mediator who is patient, persistent and fair.”
    • “David’s patience with the most difficult client of my 23-year legal career was beyond extraordinary. Nobody else could have resolved this case. Grateful and appreciative is an understatement.”
    • “David is a fantastic mediator. He works very well with clients and attorneys alike and is very knowledgeable and experienced. I highly recommend David.”
    • “David is a terrific mediator. I honestly started out thinking there was little chance of even getting an offer [from my adversary]. He did a great job.”
    • “David is a determined and creative mediator who has pulled more than a couple of resolutions out of the fire in my cases. He comes to every mediation prepared to the hilt, lays groundwork with the lawyers and their clients beforehand, and parties should be prepared for a rigorous discussion of their factual and legal positions. And he brings a welcome sense of humor to the process as well.”
    • “David was exceptionally well prepared for the mediation and came equipped with a firm grasp of the facts and issues. Due to his thoughtfulness and patience, he was able to build trust with my client and successfully navigate multiple points of contention, ultimately leading to a resolution of a dispute that prior to the mediation looked somewhat hopeless. I highly recommend David, especially for complex matters involving entrenched parties.
    • “David is always well-prepared and focused on the pivotal issues. He works hard and is committed to getting a deal done.”
    • “David did a great job yesterday. He was masterful! I did not think we would get it done. His touch was just right on both sides.”
    • “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mr. Ross. I felt that he was professional and fair to both sides. He never wavered, and worked diligently to mediate the matter that would not have ended well without him. Our firm will definitely request his services again.”
    • “David Ross is a top-notch employment law mediator who knows the law inside and out and understands the intricacies of a complex, personal negotiation as these types of disputes so often are. Even better, he genuinely cares about seeing these matters resolved.”
    • “David is a truly experienced mediator who respects the process and always shows deep empathy for the parties. David does not simply "split the baby” -- you can see him personally struggling as parties might reach impasses. My clients always walked away very happy and relieved with the result because of his personal investment in the process from carefully reading the papers, talking to counsel before the mediation, his thoroughness during the mediation, and his careful consideration and deliberation.”
    • “David is an excellent mediator. He always is very well prepared and clearly takes the time to learn the case and carefully review the parties’ pre-mediation submissions. David has been instrumental in successfully resolving a number of very difficult cases. I give him my highest recommendation.
    • “David Ross is an iron fist in a velvet glove. As a mediator he manages expectations on both sides, keeps both sides focused on obtaining a resolution, and gets the job done!”
    • “I am compelled to recognize his outstanding abilities as a mediator and his special qualities as a person. We appreciate his hard and creative work, and we were lucky to have him.”
    • "I would not hesitate using David as a mediator under any circumstance. David is an effective mediator and has all of the skills necessary to get a resolution on the mediation day. I have worked with him on both the management and plaintiffs' side and he is able to relate to clients regardless of their background and position. David is not happy if he doesn’t resolve the case. That bodes well for a successful mediation as he is an active mediator who brings the parties together. He is very smart and perceptive.”
    • “David is a seasoned professional who is engaged in the process by immersing himself with the facts of a dispute. He looks at the narrative objectively, offering a fair approach to compromise. I'd put him on my short list, given his proven effectiveness in helping parties resolve disputes in a balanced and fair way.”
    • “David has the right personality and intellect to get tough cases settled.”
    • David played a stellar role in resolving my client’s case. Although I was convinced that an amicable disposition of this matter was unlikely, his persistence combined with over nine hours of patient, skillfully conducted joint and separate sessions brought about a resolution. Without a doubt, the settlement of this matter resulted from his efforts. As a plaintiff’s employment attorney, his neutrality restored my faith in mediation services.”
    • “Mr. Ross settled a challenging case and did a remarkable job communicating with the parties.”
    • “We had been trying to resolve a difficult employment case for six months. Eventually we agreed to mediate with David Ross at JAMS and the case settled in a day. David has that rare talent to bring people together and find a solution. He is warm, pragmatic and can resolve even those stubborn cases that seem hopeless. You can go to court and litigate for years or call David Ross and end it in a day.”
    • “I appreciate David's doggedness in getting the parties (and their counsel) to reach a meeting of the minds.”
    • “I think David did a fantastic job. I look forward to working with him again.”

    Defense Counsel

    • David is a pro. He is incredibly well-prepared, whip-smart, and strategic in his approach. He works tirelessly to achieve resolution, and cares deeply about the process and participants.”
      Chair, Employment Group for global law firm
    • “I have participated in hundreds of mediations across the United States, and worked with hundreds of different mediators. In my opinion, David Ross is the best and most creative mediator in the country.”
      In-House Counsel, Fortune 100 Company
    • “David took what I thought was an impossible situation and made a deal happen. I was especially impressed with the way he 'kept hope alive.' His work throughout the mediation was stunning.”
    • “David is a talented and highly intelligent mediator who not only had a deep understanding of the legal issues but was also able to build rapport quickly with both sides.  All participants in our mediation trusted David and valued his opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions.  David came up with a creative strategy to help us come to a resolution and was extremely patient and thoughtful throughout the process.  I highly recommend David and look forward to working with him again.”
    • “Whether garden variety or complex litigation, David has consistently proven to be energetic, creative and committed to reaching successful resolutions satisfactory to all involved.”
    • “David is one of the most efficient and effective mediators that I have ever used. He was very direct and clear in his communications and moved things along very expeditiously, quickly bringing the parties to an excellent result.”
    • David was amazing on this! A huge help in making the settlement happen! Many kudos.”
    • “David Ross has an excellent demeanor. He listens carefully and respectfully to the client’s position, but, at the same time, he is candid about the strengths and risks of the case. A true strategic thinker as he guides the parties to a reasonable resolution.”
    • “David was exceptionally well prepared; he had read the parties’ written submissions with great care, and from the start of the mediation, he demonstrated total familiarity with all the facts and issues of our case.  He handles people patiently and well, and achieved a settlement under difficult circumstances.”
    • “Mr. Ross worked late into the evening to finalize a resolution in our contentious breach of contract action related to executive compensation. His preparation, perseverance, and calm and consistent demeanor throughout the day established the trust necessary on both sides to bridge the gap and finalize an agreement.”
    • “First, you are an exceptional mediator. I saw a skilled attorney at work within his craft of mediation. I have not had as important an experience as I had yesterday watching you work. You kept my client in the mediation. She wanted to walk after one hour. You did not give up.”
    • I'm convinced we would not have been able to reach this resolution without his assistance. I appreciate his persistence, smarts and candor throughout the process. He was effective!”
      - General Counsel, Fortune 500 Company
    • “David demonstrated extraordinary perseverance. His dedication to resolving this matter was heartfelt. I was impressed with his knowledge of the facts and your ability to discern the realities of the situation. David used valiant efforts in getting this difficult and complicated case settled.”
      - In-House Counsel, Fortune 500 Company
    • “David was respectful, focused, understood the contentions of all parties and was familiar with the counsels’ submissions and arguments. He helped the parties achieve a settlement in a relatively brief period of time, avoiding delay despite the number of parties involved and the contentious issues presented.”
    • “We were very happy with Mr. Ross. He successfully mediated two employment-related disputes for us. He used a creative approach when it seemed like the parties were at an impasse and it worked.”
    • “David was extremely adept at realizing the relevant issues to all parties and at helping to formulate proposals that would meet the needs of all parties involved.”
      - Chair of Employment Practice Group
    • “David was instrumental to the settlement. Since the commencement of the claim, both sides were extremely adamant in their respective positions and were willing to proceed with litigation. Accordingly, we went into mediation under the continued strong belief that the matter would not settle, at least not to our satisfaction, and that the process would be just another formality. However, almost from the start, both sides were extremely pleasantly surprised during the process to see progress, which was a direct tribute to David’s preparedness and knowledge of the case as well as his professional approach. The common notion that “both sides walk away unhappy” did not apply to us. My client and I were extremely satisfied with the outcome, all due to David’s magic. I would use him again.”
    • “David did what you want a mediator to do: find a way to get a settlement by any means necessary with creativity, patience and even humor."
    • “David used tireless efforts over what proved to be an intense two-day period."
    • “I was not optimistic for most of the mediation that we would reach a settlement number that was agreeable to my client. David's patience and skills helped obtain that outcome. I thank him for his efforts."
    • I very much appreciated David's handling of the situation and was glad that he proved my pessimism to be unfounded!



Practice Areas

  • Business/Commercial
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Training/Teaching
Available nationwide


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