1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
tel. (212) 355-6527
fax: (212) 753-0396
Simeon H. Baum, President
Mr. Baum has been active since 1992 as a neutral in dispute resolution, assuming the roles of mediator, neutral evaluator and arbitrator, having successfully mediated over
1,000 disputes in that time. Since 2005 he has been regularly selected for the New York Magazine “Best Lawyers” and
Mr. Baum has also been named to the National Academy of Distinguished
Neutrals, and serves on its New York Chapter Executive Committee.
Mr. Baum brings to the table as a mediator over 30 years of litigation experience representing clients in business, tort, and reinsurance and insurance litigation. He has represented defendants in jury trials involving claims of personal injury and property damage, has been actively involved in numerous reinsurance/insurance coverage disputes and has handled a wide variety of business and commercial matters including real estate, coop/condo litigation, defamation, intellectual property, construction litigation, unfair competition, Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC"), creditors rights, bankruptcy, business fraud, employment discrimination, securities litigation and partnership dissolution.
He blends this litigation experience with mediation training and experience and exposure to issues relating to the sensitive handling of conflict and dialogue through undergraduate and graduate work in the Comparative Study of Religion.
MEDIATION and NEUTRAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES
Mr. Baum has a longstanding involvement in Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR"). Privately, through Resolve Mediation Services, Inc., or through various panels, he has served as a mediator or ADR neutral in a wide variety of matters involving claims concerning business disputes, financial services, securities industry disputes, reinsurance and insurance coverage, property damage and personal injury, admiralty, transportation, malpractice, professional liability, employment discrimination, ERISA benefits, civil rights (1983), fair housing discrimination, real property, construction, real estate development, mortgages, rent, surety bond defaults, accounting, partnerships, unfair competition, fraud, bank fraud, civil forfeiture, bankruptcy, intellectual property, entertainment, sports management, and commercial claims.
Mr. Baum has served as a neutral on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Mediation Panel; the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York Mediation and Early Neutral Evaluation Panels; the US Bankruptcy Court ADR panels for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; the New York County Supreme Court's Commercial Division ADR Panel and Matrimonial Fee Dispute Arbitration Panel; New Jersey’s Superior Court, Statewide; the New York County Small Claims Court's Arbitration and Mediation Panels; the mediation panel of The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”, formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers ("NASD")); the mediation panels for the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), was on Judicate's non-judicial mediation panel; and the New York City Bar Association's ADR panel for disputes between lawyers; and serves on the commercial neutral ADR panel of CPR (formerly “Center for Public Resources” now “Center for Conflict Prevention and Resolution”), among others.
Mr. Baum has served on the Advisory Committee to the New York County Supreme Court's Commercial Division ADR Panel, in connection with which he spoke at the Commercial Division's First Anniversary celebration and, for the first two anniversary celebrations, led panel discussions for its ADR neutrals. He also has served on the ADR Advisory Group and Mediation Ethics Advisory Committee, for the New York State Unified Court System. He served as the first Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section. During his term, the Section grew from a former ADR Committee of 93 members to an 800 member Section. He had previously served as subcommittee chair of the New York State Bar Association’s ADR Committee. He is past Chair of the New York County Lawyers Association's Committee on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and also chaired its Continuing Legal Education ("CLE") subcommittee for several years. He is on the Board of Governors, NYS Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program, and served as Chair of the Joint Committee on Fee Disputes and Conciliation (a collaboration of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, NYCLA, and the Bronx County Bar Association), when Part 137 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the New York State Court was first implemented. This required forming and training a panel of neutrals and overseeing the mandatory arbitration and voluntary mediation of attorney client fee disputes in New York and Bronx Counties. Mr. Baum has also served as Chair of the Legislative Tracking Subcommittee of the ABA Litigation Section's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee; and as a member of the ABA's Dispute Resolution Section's Mediation Committee.
He has contributed articles on ADR to, inter alia, the Conflict Management Newsletter, published by the ABA's Committees on ADR and Arbitration, and to Metropolitan Corporate Counsel; served as Official Reporter of the Colloquia held for federal court neutrals in the Eastern District of New York; and spoke before Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's Task Force on the implementation of ADR in the New York State Courts.
Mr. Baum has shared his enthusiasm for ADR through teaching, training, and public speaking. He is a member of the top ranked ADR faculty of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he teaches Negotiation, and has taught Processes of Dispute Resolution (focusing on Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration) and has taught "The Fundamentals of ADR" at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Development in a Certificate Program in Dispute Resolution sponsored by the Department of Finance, Law and Taxation. He developed and conducts three-day programs training mediators for the Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York, Queens, and Westchester Counties. He has facilitated mediation trainings given under the auspices of the Center for International Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at the Teacher's College of Columbia University, the National Association of Securities Dealers ("NASD") and United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Baum is a regular speaker on ADR at "Bridge the Gap" CLE programs presented by NYCLA, and speaks widely before Bar Groups, Judges, and other professional organizations on ADR. In 2009, he travelled to Moscow by invitation of the US State Department/DOJ to join Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy training Russian mediators for the Moscow Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Baum has a varied background in litigation of a wide variety of matters important to businesses. He has handled commercial and corporate litigation involving securities, real estate, construction, unfair competition, common law fraud, intellectual property, defamation, commercial paper, UCC claims, creditors’ rights, secured transactions, and bankruptcy. He also has experience in disputes relating to partnership dissolutions and accountings.
By way of example, Mr. Baum litigated on behalf of 150 investors in the Boardwalk Marketplace securities offering, who were bilked of their multi-million dollar investment in a three square block area of Atlantic City by the convicted felon, John Galanis, and were subsequently pursued by various banks to whom their investment notes had been assigned. The notes were held to be non-negotiable instruments, freeing the investors to assert various defenses against the banks which would otherwise have been unavailable.
Mr. Baum has consistently sought ways to bring value to clients through efficient approaches to litigation. For example, even before filing a formal answer he successfully moved to dismiss a $25 million claim of fraud in connection with a merger and acquisition. Similarly, while representing a general contractor in a construction litigation matter, Mr. Baum used summary judgment proceedings to abort trial of a $600,000 subcontractor's claim and obtain a $200,000 award for the general contractor on the counterclaim. He has successfully prosecuted actions on commercial obligations from commencement through enforcement proceedings to obtain collection of substantial claims.
Mr. Baum has represented business interests from the European Community and the Pacific Rim. In addition to judgments for EC companies, he has obtained a judgment of over $800,000 for a Taiwanese business, and a $4.5 million dollar judgment on behalf of the largest privately held company in Hong Kong.
Mr. Baum spent more than three of his years of practice exclusively in the representation of reinsurers in disputes with ceding companies or retrocessionaires. These often complex and high-stakes disputes involved the reinsurance of a variety of types of property and casualty policies, ranging from self-insured retention on retrospectively rated business, workers compensation, general liability, professional liability, and directors and officers coverage, subject to aggregate excess of loss and quota share reinsurance treaties, as well as facultative agreements. For example, Mr. Baum was involved in the successful representation of reinsurers of AIG, seeking rescission of aggregate excess quota share treaties, bearing $50 million in liability, on the ground of, inter alia, misrepresentation of the maximum premium on self-insured retention policies, serving as the trigger of liability under one set of treaties.
Mr. Baum has also been involved in ground level coverage disputes, and has represented claimants seeking disability coverage.
PRODUCTS LIABILITY and TORT LITIGATION
Earlier in his legal career, Mr. Baum conducted a number of jury trials in connection with the defense of tort claims ranging from death at a construction site, through wrongful arrest, slip and fall, automobile injuries and property damage. He has been involved in the defense of claims relating to asbestos and other products liability claims.
Mr. Baum has served as CLE chair of the New York County Lawyers Association's Environmental Law Committee, and, inter alia, chaired an Evening Forum at the Home of Law on legal issues relating Lead Poisoning, including the prosecution and defense of lead claims, insurance coverage, the statutory scheme and abatement. He has been qualified as a New York City Department of Health Speaker on Lead Poisoning.
PROFESSIONAL and EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
Mr. Baum is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, where he was Commentary Editor of the Fordham International Law Journal, and received his B.A., cum laude, and M.A., with distinction, in the Comparative Study of Religion from Colgate University. He speaks Spanish and Japanese.
Prior to attending law school he worked for the options trading operation of O'Connor & Associates on the American Stock Exchange ("AMEX") and opened and ran the New York office of First Options of Chicago, a stock options clearing house serving stock options market makers.