Michael Young

Michael D. Young, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator

Case Manager
Burton King
T: 212-607-2758
F: 212-751-4099
620 Eighth Ave., 34th Floor, New York, NY 10018


Since joining JAMS as a full-time neutral 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 (including on its subject matter specific panel for construction disputes), an elected fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and an elected “neutral” member of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. 

Mr. Young has successfully mediated over 150 construction-related cases in many different states. These matters have involved all types of structures (residential, commercial, transportation, sports, educational, museums, and industrial); all types of parties (developers, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, sureties and other insurers, and both public and private owners); and all types of issues, such as defective work or design issues and claims for extras and delay damages. Many of these cases have involved multiple defendants, thus raising allocation issues, and many have involved ancillary disputes such as alleged misrepresentations by developers, insurance coverage questions and zoning or code issues. He has also mediated multiple property damage or subrogation claims arising out of construction activities.

Mr. Young has also served as an "umpire" in various binding property-damage insurance appraisals, including two matters arising out of the World Trade Center collapse, all of which have involved construction-related issues; and has served as the sole arbitrator in three construction-related matters, one involving allegations of defective work by a contractor in a large residential project, one involving a dispute between joint venture partners regarding signals work on a subway system and the other involving claims relating to the termination of a sub-contractor on a large industrial project.

Mr. Young has also consulted with various owners and others regarding dispute resolution systems and contract clauses for construction-related claims. For example, he designed a “dispute resolution advisor” system (combining partnering and project neutral concepts) that has been implemented by the Hong Kong Architectural Services Department for use in the renovation of three public hospitals and other public structures. In addition, he was designated as one of three project mediators in the contract between the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the contractor building the automatic fare collection system for the New York City subways, and mediated one dispute pursuant to that clause. Finally, he has spoken on the topic of mediation of construction disputes at CLE programs sponsored by Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Virginia State Bar Association, and the Connecticut State Bar Association.

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…”

Representative Mediations

  • A high stakes (in terms of dollars and threat to the working relationship), pre-litigation dispute between the developer of a state-of-the-art nursing home in Buffalo and its architect regarding delay, additional services, and defective work claims, and a similarly high stakes, pre-litigation dispute between a well-known architect and a large art museum regarding fees for the design of a new wing to the museum
  • Defective work claims involving educational institutions, such as the HVAC system on a New Jersey college campus, the roof of the student union building at another New Jersey college, the foundation of a New Jersey high school, the roof of another New Jersey high school, and the boiler in a New York City elementary school
  • Delay and impact claims by the owner of a prominent sports arena against the well-known architect who designed it, defective design and work claims against the design and construction professionals involved in the construction of a race car stadium, and defective work claims against the contractor who built a high-speed yacht
  • Design defect claims involving a Florida water treatment plant and a New Jersey sewage treatment facility, as well as a fee dispute involving the construction of a waste water treatment plant in Russia
  • Extra-work claims involving electrical and signal work on New York City subway tracks and similar claims relating to the implementation of a toll collection system on a bridge
  • Multiple multi-million dollar defective work claims, separately pending in Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia, against a national home developer including claims relating to drainage, foundations, roofs, and HVAC systems, as well as similar claims involving other residential developments in other states
  • Various design defect and defective work claims relating to water penetration through the exterior walls of residential and office buildings in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland

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."
Selected Publications
  • “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

Counsel Comments

    • “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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