Meet the Arbitrator

Stephen P. Gilbert
The Law Office of Stephen P. Gilbert
Larchmont, NY

Arbitrator. Steve has been an arbitrator since the late 1980s and has arbitrated intellectual property and technology disputes in all major technological areas (biotech, chemical, mechanical, electrical, and computer/software). But his arbitrations have not been confined to IP/technology disputes and have involved the larger commercial world (real estate development, professional partnerships, foreign exchange trading, sale of goods, employment agreements, minority shareholders’ rights, franchising, corporate stalemate/dissolution, promissory notes, billing systems, risk management, legal services, valuation, etc.). That, along with his education and work experience, have contributed to his broad view of commerce and dispute resolution. He has handled a wide range of procedural and substantive issues, including arbitrability, summary disposition, sanctions, privilege/work product, eDiscovery, fraud, statute of limitations, and issue and claim preclusion. He is on the panels of key provider organizations.

Mediator.  Steve came to mediation later than to arbitration but has mediated many cases, often concerning technology or intellectual property, for example, involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, as well as non-IP, non-technology disputes, for example, involving professional partnerships, loan guarantees, and party goods. He is on the American Arbitration Association’s Commercial Master Mediator Panel, a vetted panel and which, according to the AAA, is “comprised of exceptionally experienced mediators skilled in helping parties in large, complex cases negotiate productively to reach settlement efficiently.”

Experience.  Steve worked as a computer programmer (three years, part-time), a chemical process engineer (almost four years), and a consulting engineer (over three years) before becoming a patent/trademark/copyright/trade secret attorney. He is comfortable with all types of technology. Thus, the cases he has arbitrated and mediated, the litigations he handled, the patents he obtained for clients, and his licensing, M&A, and other work for clients have involved avionics, virtual reality, monoclonal antibodies, diesel engines, RFID, software, telecommunications, airplane winglets, assays for coronary artery disease, contact lenses, nanotechnology, urological prostheses, paper-making machines, polymers, communication satellites, semiconductors, and dozens of other fields/technologies.

Education.   Steve’s Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemical engineering are from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science; his law degree is from Fordham University’s School of Law, which he attended at night while working as an engineer during the day.

Author/Presenter.   Steve has published a number of articles on arbitration, mediation, and “mixed mode” ADR, including one on awarding attorneys’ fees in arbitration, which the American Arbitration Association now includes as a chapter in its Handbook on Commercial Arbitration. He has presented to various groups (e.g., law firms and section meetings of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association) on a variety of topics, including mediation principles, process, and strategies; mediator ethics; drafting arbitration clauses; and the use of ADR for resolving intellectual property disputes. He was the principal reviser of the New York City Bar Association rules for mediation and arbitration of lawyer-lawyer disputes. In 2006, he published “Arbitrating To Avoid The Markman Do-Over,” in which he suggested arbitrating patent claim construction (rather than holding a Markman Hearing) to reduce patent infringement litigation costs.

Recognition.   Steve is a member of several well-known organizations where admission is invitation-only after thorough vetting. For example, he is a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member/panelist of the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center. He is also a Distinguished Neutral of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, on many panels of the American Arbitration Association (including the International and Large, Complex Case panels), and, as noted above, an American Arbitration Association Commercial Master Mediator.

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