MEMBER PROFILE: Neal M. Eiseman
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Neal M. Eiseman has substantive case experience in the following areas:
Wage & Hour/FMLA|
Managing Partner/Partner/Associate, Goetz, Fitzpatrick LLP, 1981-present.
Partner for the last 25 years at one of the premier construction law firms in the tri-state area. Litigated complex construction disputes in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and federal courts for numerous clients, including owners, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, and manufacturers. Negotiated multi-million dollar contracts on behalf of private and institutional developers, owners, design professionals, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and sureties. Advises clients on day-to-day issues arising during construction projects including contract, payment, and insurance matters. Lectures on construction issues for numerous professional organizations and bar associations. Extensive litigation and drafting experience in Uniform Commercial Code as it relates to product warranties and disclaimers on materials used in construction projects.
PUBLICATIONS: "Stiffing the Arbitrators: The Problem of Nonpayment in Commercial Arbitration," HARVARD NEGOTIATION LAW REVIEW, April 2015; "Falling Through the Cracks: The Problem of the Non-Paying Party in Arbitration," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, October 15, 2014; "A Tale of Two Lawyers: How Arbitrators and Advocates Can Avoid the Dangerous Convergence of Arbitration and Litigation," Cardozo Law School, JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, Volume 14, Number 3, Spring 2013; "Who Will Step Up to Protect Policyholders?" NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, April 19, 2012; "When a Performance Bond Surety Offers to Takeover: Practical Considerations for the Owner-Obligee and its Lender," American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, September 2010; "Choosing Arbitration in Construction Cases," American Bar Association website for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Summer 2010; "Mandatory Arbitration in Construction Payment Disputes," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, April 20, 2010; "Businesses, Consumers at Odds Over Proposed Arbitration Act," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, June 5, 2009; "An Arbitrator's Failure to Tell All: Will It Translate into Vacating His or Her Award?", Conflict Management, Winter 2007.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: “The Use of ADR in Construction Law Cases: What the
Industry Forms Say about ADR,” New York County Lawyers’ Association, New York,
New York, May 12, 2016; “Arbitrator Ethics,” AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program,
New York, New York, May 5, 2016; “Building a Sustainable ADR Practice,” New
York State Bar Association, New York, New York, March 29, 2016; Faculty,
Training for American Arbitration Association, "eDiscovery: Arbitration in
a Digital World," New York, New York, October 15, 2015 and November 12,
2015; “A Litigator’s Guide to Arbitration: Best Practices to Maximize the Benefits of Your Next Arbitration,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 17, 2015; “Construction Dispute Resolution: A Blueprint for an Effective Process,” New York City School Construction Authority, April 6, 2015; “Enough Already! Striking the Right Balance of Discovery in Arbitration,” American Arbitration Association Webinar, December 16, 2014; "Stories Mediators Tell: The Good, The Bad, The Ideal!" AAA/ABA-DR's Mediation Week 2014, New York, New York, October 14, 2014; "Arbitration/Mediation Update," New Jersey Construction Litigation Conference, Edison, New Jersey, September 16, 2014; "Construction Law," New York University Summer Institute in Construction Project Management, New York, June 16, 2014; "Essential Mediation Skills for the New Mediator," American Arbitration Association, New York, April 9-11, 2014; "The Fundamentals of Construction Law," American Bar Association, New York, New York, November 8, 2013; "New York's Prompt Payment Act: An Underutilized Tool For Getting Your Client Paid," New York County Lawyer's Association, New York, New York, September 9, 2013; "Dealing with Attorneys Who Don't Play Well in the Sandbox: Identifying Tactics Intended to Derail Your Arbitration and How Best to Thwart Them," American Bar Association Annual Litigation Conference, Chicago, Ill, April 26, 2013; "Discovery in Arbitration: When Is Enough Enough?" American Arbitration Association's 2012 Construction Conference at New York University Law School, June 1, 2012; "The Effective Use of Mediation and Arbitration," Presentation before New York City Bar Association, New York, New York, December 13, 2011; "Discovery in Construction Arbitration: When is Enough, Enough?", American Arbitration Association, New York, New York, May 20, 2011; "Understanding New York's Prompt Payment Law," Presentation before Real Estate Board of New York and Associated General Contractors, New York, New York, February 15, 2011; "Not on My Watch: How to Properly Manage a Construction Arbitration Case," 2010 AAA/ICDR Neutrals Conference, Orlando, Florida, November 5-6, 2010; "We're Not Gonna Take It: Drafting a Takeover Agreement That's Acceptable to Lender, Owner, Contractor and Surety," American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, Miami, Florida, September 2, 2010; "Mediator Ethics: Objective Standards & Subjective Practices," Advanced Mediator Training, American Arbitration Association, November 11, 2009; "Optimizing the Hearing in Arbitration for Your Client," American Arbitration Association Construction Conference, New York City, May 29, 2009 and Los Angeles, November 13, 2009.
The George Washington University (BA, Journalism, Political Science-1978); St. John's University (JD-1981).
- ABA, Mediation Advocacy: Advanced Techniques and New Developments, 2008
- AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2007
- AAA Arbitrator Ethics & Disclosure (ACE003), 2006
- ABA, ADR & Construction Committee CLE Seminar, 2005
- AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2005
- AAA Dealing With Delay Tactics in Arbitration (ACE004), 2005
- Negotiation Strategy Institute, Cutting Edge Negotiation Strategy for Lawyers, 2002
- AAA Arbitrator Update, 2004
- AAA Construction Industry Arbitrator II Training, 2001
- AAA Construction Industry Arbitrator Training, 2000
- Adjunct Professor, Master's Program in Real Estate and Construction, New York University School of Professional Studies, Schack Institute of Real Estate, 1990 to present
- Faculty, AAA eDiscovery: Arbitration in a Digital World (ACE012), 2015, 2016
- Faculty, AAA Essential Mediation Skills for The New Mediator, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
- Faculty, AAA Enough Already! Striking the Right Balance of Discovery in Arbitration, 2014
- Faculty, AAA Construction Conference: Cutting Construction Arbitration Costs Without Compromise, 2012
- Faculty, AAA Discovery in Construction Arbitration: When is Enough Enough?, 2011
- Faculty, AAA/ICDR Neutrals Conference, 2010
- Faculty, AAA Construction Conference: Maximizing ADR Advocacy for Today's Economy, 2009
- Faculty, AAA Advanced Mediator Training, 2009
To be effective, a mediator must facilitate a negotiation on the merits rather than encourage a contest of wills focused on what each side says it will and will not do. It is important to flush-out the interest of the parties and, whenever possible, to explore creative solutions, particularly because a failed mediation usually leads to a litigation or arbitration where a result will be imposed upon the parties. Preparations by both the parties and mediator is essential. I require the parties to submit pre-hearing submissions to enable me to learn as much as much as possible about the dispute prior to the formal mediation session. It is also critical that those attending the mediation are familiar with the issues and possess full settlement authority, including attendance by representatives of any insurance companies which may be involved. Although I have no objection to attorney participation in the form of an opening statement/evaluation during a joint session at the commencement of the mediation, thereafter I encourage the parties themselves to take an active role. Unless the circumstances dictate that the best result is for both parties to walk away from the mediation without an agreement, an experienced mediator does whatever he or she can to keep the parties moving closer together. Sometimes this requires the mediator to act more as a facilitator and keep the parties negotiating; other times it requires the mediator to be more pro-active by offering opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the positions and by furnishing a cost-benefit and/or risk-reward analysis with respect to reaching a voluntary settlement as opposed to proceeding to litigation or arbitration. The best mediators understand the importance of not giving up-even when one or both of the parties appear resigned to a failed mediation.
Memberships & Affiliations :
Admitted to the Bar: New Jersey, 1981; New York, 1982; U.S. District Court: Southern (1982) and Eastern (1982) Districts of New York; District of New Jersey, 1981; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1984; U.S. Supreme Court, 1985.
- Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators (Board Member (2016-2019)
- Best Lawyer, 2011 to present
- Super Lawyer, 2007 to present
- Chair, ABA's Committee on Arbitration, 2009 to present
- Member of the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate/Construction Management Advisory Board
- Member, American Arbitration Association's Arbitrator National Advisory Committee
- Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
- Mediator, American Arbitration Association Master Panel
- International “Who’s Who Legal” Leading Practitioner in Construction
- 2015 Recipient of New York University School of Professional Studies' "Award For Outstanding Service."
- Chambers USA has referred to Neal as “very intelligent” and “a breath of fresh air,” praising him for his ability to “bring to the table a pragmatic approach.” Chambers also noted that Neal “is the consummate professional, understanding the details and getting to the bottom of things very quickly.”
Awards and Honors:
- Best Lawyer's 2017 "Lawyer of the Year" in New York City Litigation-Construction Law;
- Super Lawyer's "Top 100 Lawyers" in the New York Metropolitan Area for 2016;
- "Bergen County Top Lawyers", Bergen Top Lawyers, (201) Magazine;
- "One of the World's Leading Practitioners" in Construction, Who's Who Legal;
- "Award For Outstanding Service," New York University School of Professional Studies, 2015.
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Additional references available upon request.
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