Newly launched NY DEI Neutral Directory

In January, the New York Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, along with 17 partner bar associations, launched the first diversity, equity and gender neutral directory. New York inclusion (directory) for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) professionals.

The Directory is located at https://sites.google.com/view/ny-dei-neutral-directory/home.

Directory partners include the following bar associations: The Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association of New York, The Bar Association of Erie County, The Brehon Law Society, Caribbean Attorney Network, Dominican Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, New York Chapter, LGBT Bar Association of New York, Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, The Network of Bar Leaders, New York County Lawyers Association, Rochester Black Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association of New York , Puerto Rican Bar Association, Westchester Bar Association and New York State Women’s Bar Association.

While the launch of the Directory reflects the efforts and hard work of many people, it is only the first step towards increased awareness and use of various ADR professionals, both within the legal community and across the -of the.

What is the Directory?

The directory lists MARC professionals who identify as members of historically underrepresented communities, including but not limited to people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and/or those who identify as women. In keeping with its philosophy of inclusion, the Directory not only includes arbitrators and mediators, but also lists collaborative professionals, early neutral evaluators, facilitators and special teachers. In short, anyone who plays a role in conflict resolution can be listed in the Directory, provided that a natural person is a member of one of the many bars affiliated with its creation.

ADR professionals who wish to be included in the Directory must be members of one of the partner bars and complete the directory questionnaire available on https://bit.ly/3d1Nn3q. The next intake for the Directory is scheduled for June 2022, with subsequent intakes taking place approximately every six months thereafter. Inclusion in this directory does not imply endorsement or recommendation by any organization.

The Directory was created to increase the visibility and selection of MARC professionals from historically underrepresented communities, and to make it easier for users of MARC services to find such diverse professionals. For most of the past year, the creation of the Directory has been promoted by the New York Bar Association’s ADR Committee, the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association , partner bar associations and within the ADR community via several emails and announcements to CLEs. and informative events.

The directory is the result of years of volunteer work and the hope is that over time it will become a go-to resource for finding ADR professionals.

Now launched, the directory lists over 200 neutrals, and that number is expected to increase when it is next updated in June 2022.

How to use the directory

The directory is designed to be as user-friendly as possible, with multiple means of searching available: alphabetically, by area of ​​practice, by language, by neutral type (e.g. arbitrator, mediator, neutral evaluator, etc.) and by others self-identifying characteristics, including racial identity and ethnic heritage, and gender.

In particular, the Directory also provides the direct contact details of its members. In other words, the Directory is not an administered or institutional list in the same way as many other ADR providers. Individuals listed in the directory include neutral third parties affiliated with private MARC institutions, as well as neutral third parties and independent court-certified practitioners. Listing in the directory does not constitute endorsement by any of the bar association partners, and those using the directory should exercise due diligence to verify all neutrals prior to selection.

How the directory was born

The lack of diversity in the field of dispute resolution is a long-standing systemic problem. When parties are given the opportunity to choose their own neutral, it often happens that a very small group of neutrals are repeatedly selected for the vast majority of the work. Maria R.Volpe, Measuring Diversity in the ADR Field: Some Observations and Challenges Regarding Transparency, Measurement, and Empirical Research, 19 ppp. Avail. Resol. LJ 201 (2019).

A unique feature of the directory is that it is searchable by the self-identified ethnic and racial backgrounds of directory members, so people looking for neutral people of a specific background can easily locate them.

The Directory is a joint idea of ​​the New York Bar Association’s ADR Committee and the New York State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, and the work of many volunteers, but in particular of Robyn Weinstein, who co-chairs the New York committee. DEI Subcommittee of the City Bar Association ADR Committee, with Rachel Gupta.

Directory Associate Ross J. Kartez, Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association, says, “The Dispute Resolution Section is honored to be a part of this initiative. pioneer. With the [Directory], parties and attorneys will now have easy access to a list of quality neutrals with diverse backgrounds to help them resolve disputes. This repository has become essential to our work to improve the MARC culture for everyone involved in the process. We congratulate our own Stephen Marshall and Iyana Titus, Co-Chairs of [our] Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and in particular Robyn Weinstein for her leadership and tireless efforts.

New York City Bar Association ADR Committee Chair Philip Goldstein echoed this and said, “The ADR Committee is proud to create this resource for lawyers, clients and other ADR stakeholders. The Directory is a step towards ensuring that future generations of ADR professionals are more like the diverse community we serve. I join New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Chair Ross J. Kartez in applauding the work of everyone involved in this important initiative.

To the future

The launch of the Directory is only the end of the beginning, as many more ADR professionals are expected to join in its further promotion. However, its ultimate success will depend on the awareness of it among legal professionals, both at the individual and institutional level.

The partner organizations behind the Directory will continue to promote it to potential ADR users and those who wish to be listed in the Directory. Even then, a key element of the next phase will be to make the Directory known to those who most frequently use ADR services, such as general counsel, court personnel, insurance companies and lawyers in private practice. who regularly use ADR professionals. By increasing the Directory’s visibility to these people and businesses, it should eventually become a vital, self-sustaining part of New York’s ADR landscape, as well as a source of business for its members.

Conclusion

The legal community has increasingly recognized the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in recent years. The Directory, while nascent, promises to be another integral part of the Greater New York legal and ADR communities for years to come. Please go check it out!

Chris FladgateFCIArb, is managing partner of Garson, Segal, Steinmetz, Fladgate and co-chair of the ADR Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association.


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