Since joining JAMS in 1989, Mr. Young has conducted over 1,750 complex or multi-party mediations and arbitrations in over thirty states and abroad, and has been appointed as a mediator or special master (for discovery management or settlement implementation purposes) by various federal, state, and bankruptcy courts. Mr. Young is a member of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, an elected fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and an elected “neutral” member of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. He is also a member of the Mediator Registry for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Young has successfully mediated or otherwise served as a neutral in numerous bankruptcy and insolvency matters, including, most recently, in numerous matters brought by trustees or “litigation committees” against directors and officers of insolvent companies and others. In many such instances, he has had to mediate concurrently insurance coverage issues relating to the D & O coverage.
In addition to his bankruptcy-related mediation experience, at various times while in law practice, he represented creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. For example he represented an unofficial creditors committee - Big City Property Damage Creditors’ Committee - in the Manville reorganization. See Manville Corp. v. The Equity Security Holders Comm., 66 B.R. 517 (Bkrtcy. SDNY 1986). He has spoken regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution processes in bankruptcy cases at American Bankruptcy Institute and ALI-ABA conferences.
Mr. Young has been recognized by various publications and members of the legal community in New York, and more broadly, as a skilled and widely respected mediator and arbitrator. For example, in 2016 through 2021, Chambers and Partners identified Mr. Young as one of the seven mediators in the United States recognized in Band One and in 2016 noted “his deft, subtle handling of mediations…”
- Appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to mediate a dispute between the trustee of a Chapter 7 debtor, the creditors' committee and the principal of the debtor regarding the recovery of certain assets in Europe
- Appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to mediate plan negotiations in three reorganization proceedings, the first involving a $110 million cellular telephone company and the latter two being single asset cases, including one of the few instances in which a cooperative residential association has successfully emerged from Chapter 11
- Appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to resolve twenty large construction claims pending against US Home Inc. in a Chapter 11 proceeding, and has mediated other construction claims involving contractors or owners who have filed for Chapter 11 protection
- Appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis to resolve approximately 400 asbestos personal injury claims in the Apex Oil Co. Chapter 11 proceeding
- Appointed to the Mediator Registry for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and, at the request of the Chief Judge, conducted a mediation training program for the other members of the Registry, and is also a member of the Bank of Thailand's Corporate Debt Restructuring Mediation Panel
- Counseled large and mid-sized Chapter 11 debtors, as well as creditor groups, regarding alternative dispute resolution approaches to claims estimation or liquidation
- Designed and administered the dispute resolution process of the Manville Property Damage Settlement Trust, which is one of the claims handling trusts that evolved from the Manville Chapter 11 reorganization proceeding
- Mediated a claim by debtor (brought by the trustee and creditors’ committee) against the company that had purchased one of its divisions
- Mediated a fraudulent conveyance claim by the liquidating trustee of a Chapter 11 debtor against the leveraged buy-out firm which was one of its largest shareholders
- Mediated a post-closing dispute between the purchaser of the debtor's assets and the creditors' committee
- Mediated a variety of personal injury and other state law claims pending in Chapter 11 proceedings including the claims pending against two major department store Chapter 11 debtors
- Mediated an "avoidance" action brought by the trustee of a debtor owning real estate against the entity which sold it the property
- Mediated many different cases outside of the bankruptcy context involving parties that are insolvent or are otherwise in financial distress, including an airplane leasing dispute between a syndicate of European banks and a financially unstable airline (the mediation took place in Madrid and was partially conducted in Spanish)
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.
Selected Awards and Honors
- Band One Mediator, Chambers and Partners, 2016-2022
- International Who's Who In Insurance and Reinsurance, 2014-2020
- International Who's Who in Commercial Mediation, 2013-2020
- Mediator of the Year, NYC, Best Lawyers, 2018-2019
- Arbitrator of the Year, NYC, Best Lawyers, 2020-2021
- ADR Champion, American Law Media, 2017
- Recognized since 2006 by various law-related periodicals as one of the "Best Lawyers in America," as a "Super Lawyer," and by Law Dragon as "One of the Top Neutrals/Private Judges in the U.S."
- “The FAA Statutory Framework” and “Discovery,” co-authored with Cliff Bloomfield, Esq., PLI Press Treatise Arbitrating Commercial Disputes in the United States, September 2018
- “Binding Alternative Dispute Resolution and Insurance Claims,” with Cliff Bloomfield, Esq., ABA Section on Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Resolving Insurance Claim Disputes before Trial, June 2018
- Member of Board of Glimmerglass Festival, 2019-Present
- Member of Board of Legal Services NYC, 2017-Present
- Chair of the Board of Legal Services NYC, 2014-2017
- Board of Directors of the JAMS Foundation, 2013-2018
- Vice-Chair of the Board of Legal Services NYC, 2011-2014
- Interim Executive Director of Legal Services NYC, 2010-2011
- JAMS Board of Directors, 2000-2010
- Litigator, Public and Private Sectors, 1978-1989
- J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1978
- A.B., with honors, Brown University, 1975
- “The technology [for our virtual session] worked seamlessly. I was impressed at how effective it was, and with Mr. Young’s facility with it. The breakout rooms worked very well.”
- "In confirming an award issued by Mr. Young in a complex “finder’s fee” dispute arising from a cross-border commercial real estate investment, Justice Alice Schlesinger (N.Y.S. Supreme Court, N.Y. County) stated the following on the record: “... Because in what I would characterize as Mr. Young’s thoughtful and well-reasoned award... Also because of the way in which Mr. Young handled this whole process in a truly conscientious way ... So, I find that this was a really serious attempt to do the legal thing as well as the right thing...”
- "Indeed, throughout the (very) long day, [he] remained a constant beacon of coolness. [His] thoughtful, kind demeanor was key in developing a rapport with my client, who was sensitive to the issues she was discussing. [He] gently prodded her, challenged her, and at times honestly agreed with her, all the while building up a level of trust. At the end of the day, she had immense trust in [him] and [his] judgment. Most of all, [he was] well prepared in respect of the facts and legal issues, and challenged all sides to see things in a clearer, objective light. This helped bridge differences. Ultimately, and on several occasions, [he was] able to pull us all back from the abyss."
- "Michael Young was knowledgeable, prepared, assiduous, and persistent ... He didn't introduce his personality into the mediation, but separate and apart from that he was a friendly and engaging person. Besides that, he is ... always prepared to help outside the time that is allotted for the case."
- "First of all, he's very smart, very fair, really a straight shooter. Understands the tougher issues and can give an experienced evaluative opinion -- only after he's listened for at least half the session or at least he's absorbed the key issues. His persistence is amazing."
- "He's engaging, yet calm and professional. He is confident in his ability to solve cases and interacts well with different personalities."
- "His settlements are the result of his (a) hard work in preparing for the mediation; (b) intelligence and ability to grasp quickly not just the core issues in dispute, but also the nuances of complex matters that must be addressed to achieve a workable solution; and (c) his enormous patience in dealing non-stop and effectively with the attorneys and parties involved."
- "Michael is not afraid to tell the parties what he thinks about any given position or claim they are making, yet will follow the party's lead as to what information is to be communicated to the adversary."
- "He never knocks heads together, but he will present an evaluative position. He knows when the parties need to call it a day, and will follow-up to resolve final points after a few days to think things through."
- "Michael has a way of keeping the door open. ... Michael will make sure the lines of communication are still open and the parties are trying."
- "Michael is a genuinely nice guy. People like to be around other people whom they like -- especially someone you have to spend hours with and in a high stakes situation."
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