main image

Archive for the ‘Reinsurance Mediation’ Category


August 22nd, 2011 Arbitration Practice and Procedure, Events, Reinsurance Arbitration, Reinsurance Claims, Reinsurance Mediation Comments Off on HARRISMARTIN REINSURANCE SUMMIT: FRESH PERSPECTIVES ON THE REINSURANCE FRONT

The frequency of reinsurance disputes, like most things in the insurance industry, is cyclical in nature, and over the last three or four years or so, the number of new disputes each year has declined fairly significantly compared to 1990 through 2005 levels.  I don’t have statistics to back that statement up, but it is informed by personal experience and numerous discussions with industry participants and their service providers.

Reduced dispute frequency is good news for the industry, but it doesn’t mean that industry executives should assume that reinsurance disputes are a thing of the past, ignore important developments that bear on their resolution, or become less proactive in their efforts to prevent them.  Keeping apprised of recent, pertinent reinsurance- and dispute-resolution-related legal, regulatory and economic developments is particularly important today, because there have been – and will likely continue to be – many that may bear on the nature and frequency of future reinsurance disputes.

To that end, a number of experienced industry executives and  in-house counsel, and a small group of outside counsel, have joined forces with HarrisMartin Publishing to put together a two-day conference designed to survey important, recent developments concerning reinsurance and reinsurance dispute resolution.  The conference — entitled “Reinsurance Summit:  Fresh Perspectives on the Reinsurance Front” — is scheduled to take place at the Lowes Philadelphia Hotel on September 22-23, 2011. Continue Reading »

LinkedIn’s Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group is 900 Members Strong and Growing!

August 23rd, 2010 ADR Social Media, Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group, Mediation, Reinsurance Mediation Comments Off on LinkedIn’s Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group is 900 Members Strong and Growing!

As regular readers know, we own and co-manage with Don Philbin, Jr., Karl Bayer, Robert Bear, and Victoria VanBuren  LinkedIn‘s Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group.  The group actively discusses issues pertaining to domestic and international ADR, and features a distinguished and diverse membership of arbitrators, mediators, business people, attorneys, law professors, students, and other persons interested in ADR.  Our members hail not only from the United States, but many other countries as well. 

The group, which was formed in May 2009, is now 900 members strong and is growing by the week.  Many different industries are represented, including the insurance and reinsurance industry.  The group enables members to share information; discuss and debate issues; directly access numerous excellent ADR-related blogs; and network with others in the domestic and international ADR community. 

The group welcomes new members, and encourages (but does not require) active participation.  The only requirement for membership is a bona fide interest in ADR.  The group is not a forum for, and does not permit, advertising or blatant self-promotion, so our members need not be concerned about being subject to sales pitches and the like. 

If you are already a member of LinkedIn, please click here to apply for membership in the group.  If you are not a LinkedIn member, click here, and you will be guided through the process of creating a profile (which does not need to be completed in one step).  Once your profile is started, and you have a user name and password, you can apply for membership in the group (which entails no more than clicking on a button).  Joining LinkedIn is free, as is joining the group. 

We hope you’ll join up!

Recently-Formed Re/Insurance Mediation Institute Holding a Cocktail Reception in New York City on November 11, 2009

October 31st, 2009 Mediation, Re/Insurance Mediation Institute, Reinsurance Mediation Comments Off on Recently-Formed Re/Insurance Mediation Institute Holding a Cocktail Reception in New York City on November 11, 2009

We previously reported that Peter A. Scarpato, Katherine Billingham and Andrew S. Walsh, in conjunction with others, recently formed the Re/Insurance Mediation Institute (“ReMedi”), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “foster the development of mediation as a means of resolving reinsurance and insurance disputes.”  (See our prior post here.)  More information about ReMedi can be found here, and you can read about Peter and Kathy here, here, here, here and here

The Founding Members of ReMedi, including Peter, Kathy and Andy, are hosting a cocktail reception in New York city to celebrate the establishment of the new organization. The reception will be held on November 11, 2009, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the offices of Chaffetz Lindsey LLP, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019 (6th Avenue and 55th — enter at 55th).

Peter asked the Forum to let those interested in reinsurance and insurance mediation know that, if you have not received an invitation, but wish to attend, then you should contact him at (215) 369-4329. Alternatively, you can contact me via e mail  ( or telephone ((516) 627-1720), and I will be happy to let Peter know that you are interested in attending.   

The event is sponsored by Chaffetz Lindsey LLP and Cozen O’Connor, and is free of charge.   The Founding Members of ReMedi (other than Peter, Kathy and Andy) are Paul Dassenko, Larry Monin, Jonathan Rosen, Jim Shanman, Jim Stinson, Kevin Tierney, Liz Thompson, David Thirkill, Vince Vitkowski, and Richard Waterman. 

Peter, Kathy, Andy and I hope to see you at the reception.

Kathy Billingham, Peter Scarpato and Andy Walsh are Founding Members and Officers of REMEDI, the Re/Insurance Mediation Institute

August 27th, 2009 Mediation, Reinsurance Mediation 1 Comment »

Kathy Billingham, Peter Scarpato and Andy Walsh have, along with others, formed REMEDI, the Re/Insurance Mediation Institute, to promote and foster mediation in reinsurance and insurance disputes.  Kathy is the Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Peter is the Vice-Chair and President, and Andy is the Secretary and Treasurer. The Directors are Larry Monin, Jonathan Rosen, David Thirkill and Elizabeth Thompson, and other founding members are Paul Dassenko, Richard Waterman, Jim Stinson of Sidley Austin LLP, and Vince Vitkowsky and Jim Shanman of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, which serves as pro bono outside general counsel.

Congratulations and good luck!

Should the States Certify and Regulate Mediators?

July 30th, 2009 Mediation, Reinsurance Mediation 4 Comments »

One of the reasons we enjoy reading the Mediation Channel so much is that Diane Levin’s posts are designed to make you think.  In her recent post, “To Certify or Not to Certify:  That is the Question as the Mediation Field Struggles with Professionalization,” she discussed a number of arguments for and against state licensing and regulation of mediators.  (A copy of the post is here.)   I found this post to be particularly thought provoking. 

From what I have heard (and I am not a mediator) state regulation of mediators is a controversial subject.  And it should be.  Continue Reading »

Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum and Four Other ADR Blogs Make Diane Levin’s “Top Five Tuesdays” List Of New ADR Blogs

July 19th, 2009 Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group, General, Reinsurance Arbitration, Reinsurance Mediation Comments Off on Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum and Four Other ADR Blogs Make Diane Levin’s “Top Five Tuesdays” List Of New ADR Blogs

Each Tuesday the National Arbitration Forum Blog features a “Top Five Tuesdays” guest-blog submission.  The guest-blogger submits a “Top Five” list on some topic pertinent to ADR. 

On July 14, 2009 the NAF Blog posted a “Top-Five Tuesdays” submission by master-blogger Diane Levin, entitled “5 New ADR Blogs to Add to Your Reading List.”  (Available here.)  Diane is, among other things, the blog master of the excellent and immensely popular ADR blog, Mediation Channel, and “unofficial taxonomist of the ADR blogosphere” at her popular worldwide blog directory,   Noting that she “track[s] and catalog[s] bloggers world-wide who write about ADR, negotiation, and conflict resolution,” Diane said:     

It gives me the ability to introduce new and worthy ADR blogs to readers – like the following five blogs. I hope you enjoy them: 


  1. Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum provides discussion and insights on reinsurance litigation and arbitration and is published by New York-based boutique commercial and industry arbitration firm Loree & Loree. This blog demonstrates quality writing on newsworthy topics that distinguish the top ADR blog; a recent example is “The AAA Commercial Rules and the Pig in a Poke: Gilbert Street Developers, LLC v. La Quinta Homes, LLC“.
  2. Business Conflict Blog provides perspectives on managing the business disputes that companies around the globe face, a focus reflected in posts such as “Contract Drafting for Dispute Management“, aimed for the transactional lawyer seeking to protect the value of the deal. This blog is written by F. Peter Phillips, a commercial arbitrator and mediator based in New Jersey.
  3. Mediation Matters is published by California lawyer and mediator Steve Mehta, who has translated his experience litigating and mediating complex cases into engaging posts that share his reflections on ADR practice, including this one on his experiences going green to conserve energy at his office.
  4. Cross Collaborate serves as a learning resource for all those involved in shaping or influencing governmental decisions, offering commentary on leading issues and innovative practices. It is published by John Folk-Williams, a practitioner and writer in the field of public policy collaboration and interest-based negotiation. His thoughtfulness as a practitioner is evident in posts like “Power Differences, Consensus Building & Collaborative Networks“.
  5. Disputing: Conversations about Dispute Resolution is a dependable source for news, updates and commentary on the law pertaining to arbitration, with a special focus on Texas demonstrated by posts such as “Texas HB 2256 Makes Possible a New Mediation Procedure for ‘Balance Billing‘”.

We thank Diane for having included us not only in her blog directory,, but also in “5 New ADR Blogs to Add to Your Reading List.”  We also thank Diane for including our friends Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren and Holly Hayes at Disputing, and for featuring the other three excellent blogs listed above.   

For the benefit of readers who may not know Diane, she is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  She has instructed people from around the world in the art of negotiation and mediation.  Since 1995 she has assisted clients in resolving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property disputes, and has served on numerous mediation panels, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (a/k/a “the EEOC”).  She has a passion for training and coaching and has taught thousands of people to resolve conflict, negotiate better, or become mediators – from Croatian judges to Fortune 500 executives.

Characterizing herself  — tongue in cheek — as “a geek at heart,” Diane also consults on web design and social media for professionals.  She writes about issues pertinent to ADR at the intersection of law, science and popular culture at Mediation Channel, which is regarded (deservedly so) as one of the world’s top ADR blogs.  She tracks and catalogues ADR blogs around the world at, where she has created a community for bloggers writing about alternative dispute resolution.  

Thanks again, Diane!

The Art and Science of Mediation: A Brief Recap of the July 14, 2009 Don Philbin/Randall Kiser/Katherine Billingham ABA Teleconference

July 17th, 2009 Asbestos-Related Claims, Mediation, Reinsurance Mediation Comments Off on The Art and Science of Mediation: A Brief Recap of the July 14, 2009 Don Philbin/Randall Kiser/Katherine Billingham ABA Teleconference

Readers may remember our July 1, 2009 announcement concerning an American Bar Association teleconference on mediation hosted by Don Philbin, Randall Kiser and Katherine Billingham (post here).  The conference took place as scheduled on July 14, 2009, and we thought it was excellent.

Don Philbin and Randall Kiser explained a theory of mediation based on a combination of brain science, psychology, statistical analysis, and computer graphics, which we thought was as inspiring as it was fascinating.  They discussed the results of empirical studies of decisional errors in litigation, comparing last settlement positions of parties who failed to settle to the ultimate outcome of the proceeding.  They explained who did better, who did worst, and what the cost of the error was.  They also described a technique that can overcome psychological barriers to settlement that uses graphically-depicted outcome-scenarios.  Randall discussed a book he is writing, which will explain and advocate a scientific approach to decision making, and which will delve into the legal malpractice considerations associated with poor decision making.  Randall’s book will hit the shelves this fall.

Once upon a time I thought mediation was, to a significant extent, based on “touch” and “feel,” but Don and Randall have proved me wrong.  To some extent it is certainly an art, but science plays an important role, especially when the mediators are trained to use it properly.  

Katherine Billingham discussed a scientific approach to resolve through mediation complex multi-insurer, multi-layer, multi-year asbestos-related insurance coverage disputes, using excellent graphics.  She explained how these disputes can be mediated in a multi-phase process that takes into account nearly every one of the myriad of variables that must be considered.  Her methodology can also be applied to complex reinsurance disputes, which she also mediates.

All in all, there was much useful information packed into the one-hour presentation, and we view it as a springboard for further research and study.  Kudos to all involved!

Upcoming ABA Mediation Teleconference Featuring Don Philbin and Katherine Billingham

July 1st, 2009 Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group, General, Mediation, Reinsurance Mediation 1 Comment »

On July 14, 2009 LinkedIn Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group co-manager Donald R. Philbin Jr., group member Katherine Billingham, and Randall Kiser from DecisionSet®, will be presenting at a one- hour live teleconference and webcast entitled  “Deal or No Deal: Improving the Odds of Successful Mediation.”  Randall’s article Lets Not Make a Deal: An Empirical Study of Decision Making in Unsuccessful Settlement Negotiations was featured in the New York Times. 

The program is sponsored by The American Bar Association Section of Litigation Alternative Dispute Resolutions Committee, Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee, Trial Practice Committee, and Commercial & Business Litigation Committee and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education

As readers may know, Don is an arbitrator, mediator, negotiator, attorney, and business consultant, whose website is here.  In addition to his other work Don frequently writes and speaks on topics pertinent to ADR, and is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University Law School’s prestigious Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.  Katherine Billingham is an attorney, reinsurance consultant, an ARIAS-U.S. certified arbitrator and mediator, and principal of KB ReSolutions, Inc, whose website is here.  She also holds ADR certifications at the American Arbitration Association and the Reinsurance Association of America.  Randall Kiser is the principal analyst at DecisionSet®, a decision services company, whose website is here.  He designs quantitative models for DecisionSet® and works with attorneys, litigants, insurers, and advisors in assessing risks and evaluating litigation alternatives.   

Check out the coverage in Disputing, here, which features links to two of Don’s recent articles, including one published in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review.  Find out more about the event, and how to register, here.

Guest Post — Mediating Reinsurance Disputes: A Case Study

May 14th, 2009 Guest Posts, Mediation, Reinsurance Mediation 2 Comments »


I am very pleased that Phil Loree Jr. asked me to guest blog for the Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum.  I have known Phil for quite some time and have worked with him on various matters over the years.  Phil suggested that I write something about my experiences mediating reinsurance disputes.  This guest post is a revised version of an article I published in the September 2006 edition of JTW News, a popular, U.K.-based reinsurance trade publication.    

As the aggravation, expense and amount of time required to arbitrate or litigate escalate, parties to reinsurance disputes are beginning to opt either by contract or ad hoc agreement to mediate reinsurance disputes. For them, depending upon the case, less is more; that is, compared to arbitration or litigation, mediation is a less aggressive, less costly, less damaging and less divisive alternative to tip the balance of power and opportunity in both parties’ favor.  A careful, experienced and patient mediator views disputes between parties, not as a battle, but as an opportunity to empower them to structure a resolution that best meets their respective short and long term needs. 

Despite this trend, many still claim mediation is unnecessary, expensive and unproductive — complaints based mostly upon its non-binding nature and prior “bad” experiences with ineffective mediators.  From my discussions with many satisfied client and lawyer participants and my own work mediating cases, I have found that parties and their counsel can and do benefit in many ways — even if no settlement immediately results — from mediating their reinsurance disputes before an effective mediator.  Continue Reading »

Introducing Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum Guest Blogger Peter A. Scarpato, Esq.

May 14th, 2009 General, Guest Posts, Mediation, Reinsurance Mediation 2 Comments »

This week we are delighted and honored to feature Peter A. Scarpato, Esq. as a guest blogger on the Forum.  I have known Peter since 1990, when he was the General Counsel of American Centennial Insurance Company in run-off, and I was an associate at Miller, Singer, Raives & Brandes, P.C.   We have stayed in touch over the years and have worked together on matters where Peter was the key client contact, both at American Centennial, and later, at the American International Group. 

Currently the President of Conflict Resolved, LLC, Peter is a full-time ADR professional who has extensive experience as an arbitrator, umpire, counsel, mediator and negotiator in hundreds of reinsurance and other commercial disputes, settlements and commutations.  He is a run-off specialist for all forms of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance; warranty; surety; and various types of program business.  He is an ARIAS-U.S. certified arbitrator and mediator who also holds ADR certifications or positions for FINRA Dispute Resolution (formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD));  Executive Mediator Services; Reinsurance Association of America (RAA); Construction Dispute Resolution Services LLC; the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York; New York State Supreme Court – Commercial Division; and Case Closure, LLCContinue Reading »