Michael D. Young has successfully mediated, arbitrated, or otherwise served in a neutral capacity in a diverse array of insurance coverage, reinsurance and other insurance-related matters. He has been involved as a neutral in hundreds of insurance-related disputes.
More generally, 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 (as well as in Puerto Rico) and abroad (including in Rome, Madrid and Zurich). Among the 1,750 matters have been approximately 250 arbitrations, appraisals, or other binding dispute resolution proceedings. He has been appointed as a mediator or special master (for discovery management or settlement implementation purposes) by various federal, state and bankruptcy courts. In addition to serving on the JAMS and JAMS International panels, Mr. Young is a member of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Panel of Distinguished Neutrals and is a member of the panels of the Beijing Arbitration Commission, Singapore International Mediation Center, Afghanistan Centre for Commercial Dispute Resolution and Center for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution in Israel. He is also an elected fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.
See Mr. Young's arbitration biography for more information about his work as an arbitrator.
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 NYS trial court as a referee to resolve discovery disputes in a declaratory judgment action brought by a group of reinsurers against a cedent and made various written recommendations to the court regarding privilege issues
- Arbitrated, as the neutral chairperson, party-appointed independent arbitrator, or sole arbitrator, numerous reinsurance and insurance coverage disputes, including one relating to coverage for property damage in a nuclear power plant as well as disputes relating to exclusions or other coverage defenses arising under “E&O,” “D&O,” EPL, CGL and Fidelity policies
- Conducted a "med-arb" in a dispute between two carriers regarding the purchase of a line of business by one from the other
- Conducted a non-binding evaluation of a multimillion dollar reinsurance dispute in which the reinsurer defended on the basis that the cedent made misleading statements regarding the risk
- Mediated multiple “long tail” claims between an insured and multiple CGL carriers at both the primary and excess levels, including matters relating to underlying toxic tort suits and relating to head injuries in professional sports, resulting in resolutions encompassing both the payment of money as well as “cost-sharing” or “coverage in place” agreements
- Mediated claim by major airline against its "aviation liability" policy carrier with respect to costs of remediating fuel spills at various airports
- Mediated efforts by insurers either to disclaim or to rescind a policy based on alleged misrepresentations or omissions in applications for insurance
- Mediated multiple disputes between cedents and reinsurers regarding different types of risks, many involving either London-based or other off-shore insurers or re-insurance companies or syndicates, and mediated a multi-million dollar collection proceeding by an American insurer against a Mexican re-insurer and its parent corporations, raising issues of Mexican substantive law and procedure
- Mediated multiple first-party claims by insureds against insurers under disability and property damage policies, including a multi-million dollar claim by a beverage manufacturer arising out of its inability to use "off-spec" product, a claim by a cruise ship owner regarding damage to a pier it owns in Mexico and a claim relating to fire damage to a refinery
- Mediated multiple insurance coverage disputes between an insured and one or multiple carriers seeking defense costs and/or indemnity for a settlement and judgment, including, for example:
- Disputes between "D&O" carriers and insured entities relating to such questions as to whether an SEC request for information is a "claim" and whether various exclusions apply
- Claim by a municipality against seven primary and excess insurers all of which had disclaimed coverage -- under multiple grounds including late notice, whether an "occurrence" had taken place and "other insurance" clauses -- for a multi-million dollar economic tort claim that the municipality had previously settled
- Coverage claims arising out of underlying patent-related and/or "advertising injury" litigation
- Mediated numerous coverage disputes arising in construction litigation, mostly relating to the definition of "occurrence" and work product defect exclusions under comprehensive general liability policies held by contractors or subcontractors, as well as a dispute regarding coverage under a "builder's risk" policy; and mediated disputes arising in employment litigations between "employment practices liability" insurance carriers and employer/insureds, as well as disputes between lawyers and accountants as insureds and their professional liability insurers under "errors and omissions" policies
- Mediated in multiple instances coverage-related issues arising in securities class actions, mostly arising under D&O policies, but also under professional liability policies
- Served as an "umpire" in various binding property-damage insurance appraisals, including two matters arising out of the World Trade Center collapse
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.
Selected Awards and Honors
- Band One Mediator, Chambers and Partners, 2016-2021
- 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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