Experience Qualification Path
Category 2: American Arbitration Association
Mediation Locations
United States - NJ
Mediation languages
English
Current position and background
Ms. Kaster is the recipient of the Boskey Award from the NJSBA for 2014 ADR Practitioner of the Year. She is both an arbitrator and a mediator. She is a fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and a CEDR Accredited and IMI Certified mediator. She is a member of the American Arbitration Association's National Roster of Neutrals serving on its panel of Mediators . She is a Member, FINRA Dispute Resolution Board of Arbitrators. She is on the Statewide Roster of Court-Approved Mediators for the State of New Jersey Statewide Civil, General Equity and Probate Mediation Program and is on the Roster of Mediators for the Supreme Court of New York County, Commercial Division.

Ms. Kaster has over 30 years of varied experience in complex commercial, employment, class action and technology litigation.

Prior to forming Laura A. Kaster LLC, she was Chief Litigation Counsel for AT&T Corp. from 1997 to 2006, where she handled all of AT&T's arbitrations and mediations, patent, trademark and copyright litigation as well as all of its appeals, including landmark patent, trademark, employment and ERISA cases. In that capacity, she argued appeals and worked on seminal patent cases. From 1975 to 1997, she was an associate and then a partner in the national law firm Jenner & Block, where she handled complex commercial litigation, patent,high technology cases, class actions, environmental, employment, appellate litigation, and attorney fee litigation.

From 1973-75, Ms. Kaster was law clerk to then Chief Judge Frank M. Coffin of the United States Court of Appeals for the FIrst Circuit.

Ms. Kaster Graduated from Boston University Law School Magna Cum Laude in 1973 where she was Note Editor on the Law Review and received the Melville M. Bigelow Award for "the Greatest Promise as a Teacher and Scholar in the Law."

A complete biography may be found at www.AppropriateDisputeSolutions.com
Main mediation practice areas
Commercial disputes, construction, employment, intellectual property, patent, trademark, telecommunications, class actions, outsourcing, partnership and estates. In 2014, Ms. Kaster was instrumental in developing a mediation panel for the NJ Bankruptcy courts.
Mediation experience
Ms. Kaster has been trained in mediation by the Center for Mediation in Law and CPR (the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution) and has taken advanced courses at both institutions. Ms. Kaster is a CEDR Accredited Mediator. She has also taken advance courses with Pepperdine University. She teaches Dispute Resolution Processes at Seton Hall Law School. Her mediation experience has included her work as a member of the American Arbitration Association Panel, the roster of mediators for the Supreme Court of New York, Commercial Division, and the roster of mediators for the New Jersey Statewide Mediation Program for Civil, General Equity and Probate Cases and she is also on the roster for the New Jersey Foreclosure Program.
Description of mediation style
Ms. Kaster believes that the best mediators actually vary their style depending upon the needs of the parties and the timing and interactions in the mediation itself. She has a personal preference for understanding based mediation, which focuses on the parties' own ability to analyze their needs and the potential solutions to their problems. However, she employs a variety of techniques and is informed by what the parties and their representatives believe will best assist them to resolve their unique dispute.
Code of professional conduct
IMI Code of Professional Conduct
Complaint process
IMI Professional Conduct Assessment Process
Professional indemnity insurance
Professionals Direct $1,000,000.00
Feedback Digest
Reviewer: STAFF AAA/ICDR ( imireviewer@adr.org )
Latest Update: 2017-05-18 20:57:03

This Feedback Digest is based on 14 Feedbacks from 13 Mediations, initially submitted in June 2009 and last updated on May 16, 2017.

Parties and counsel who have used Laura Kaster would overwhelmingly use her services again and would, without hesitation, recommend her to others. Typical of the comments reflecting Ms. Kaster’s acceptability are: (i) Laura was objective, patient and fair throughout the mediation process. She was outstanding; (ii) Ms. Kaster was thorough and thoughtful in evaluating the dispute and the parties; (iii) Ms. Kaster was extremely patient and took the necessary time to discuss and work with the parties, ultimately achieving a good solution; (iv) She was helpful, thorough and moved us towards our goal. She listened well; (v) I would, without hesitation, use her again; and, (vi) Laura did an extraordinary job mediating a very difficult dispute. She is one of the very best mediators I have ever used—and I have used many.

Ms. Kaster’s mediation skills and abilities are rated as highly effective. Typical of feedback received in this regard are: (i) Ms. Kaster’s objectivity and listening skills made a difference in the outcome; (ii) Ms. Kaster was a reflective listener, providing opportunities to participants to provide input. She critically evaluated input provided by participants, providing clear assessments of issues and options. She was especially skilled at presenting prospective options or courses of action for mediation participants; (iv) Laura was persistent at keeping the dialogue ongoing; (v) She has a unique blend of skills, persistence and patience, which coupled with her sincere effort to obtain a fair settlement leads to a successful mediation; (vi) She had the ability to make the parties understand the perspective of the other side; (vii) She did a good job of valuing the potential exposure for the parties, which assisted in determining a reasonable settlement value; (viii) She is excellent at understanding issues and bridging differences over them; and, (ix) Laura Kaster is a first-rate mediator. She had credibility with the clients and the lawyers and skillfully navigated difficult issues to bring the parties to what we hope is a satisfactory settlement.

Ms. Kaster is also highly regarded for her ability to effect a positive outcome. For example, one provider of feedback noted that Ms. Kaster’s personable style was helpful in bolstering a collaboration of friends. From my perspective, thanks to Ms. Kaster’s mediation, two organizations that were experiencing strained communication and work projects have begun the process of trusting each other once again. While another noted that without Ms. Kaster calling the meetings and making us do the work, we might never have gotten the process begun, and we might not ever have talked about all the issues that needed to be discussed. It was also noted that her manner, skills, persistence, patience and sincere commitment to have the parties obtain an agreement were of the highest level and ultimately led to a potential settlement.

Costs were widely reported as reasonable in the context of the value of the disputes mediated by Ms. Kaster, and in general a very high degree of satisfaction was reported.

No reportable negative comments have been received since Ms. Kaster’s designation as an IMI Certified Mediator.

Professional affiliations
New Jersey Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section (Chair 2011- 2013); New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section (Executive Committee and Co-Editor in Chief of Dispute Resolution Lawyer); American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, Vice President and Master, Justice Marie Garibaldi Inn of Court (Executive Committee and co-chair programming), International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (Diversity Task Force)
Mediation education and training
CEDR Advanced Mediation Training (Certification) 2011, Pepperdine Universtiy, Straus Institute, Mediating in the Red Zone 2010, Center for Mediation in Law, Self-Reflection in Action 2011, 2009; CPR Advanced Mediation Training 2009; FINRA Chairperson training 2009; AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2009; AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2009; ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference (2009), AAA Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New Arbitrators, 2008; CPR Annual Meeting 2008; NYC Advanced CDRC Mediation Training 2008; New York State Judicial Institute, Advanced Training for Commercial Division Mediators 2008; Center for Mediation in Law Self-Reflection in Action Intensive Training 2008; NJICLE ADR Day 2008; Center for Mediation in Law, Advanced Mediation Training: Working Together with High Conflict Disputants 2008; Cardozo School of Law, "Whither Arbitration" 2008; NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section Fall Meeting 2008; K&L Gates, International Arbitration: Managing High Risk 2008; Center for Mediation in Law, Advanced Training Program Mediation: Difficult Cases 2007; Center for Mediation in Law, Support & Development Group 2007; CPR, Intensive Mediation Training, 2007; NASD, Arbitration Basic Training, Expungement, Revised Code of Arbitration Procedures, 2007; ABA Dispute Resolution Section, Third Annual Arbitration Training, 2007; NJICLE, Advanced Mediation Clinic, 2007; NJICLE, Arbitration Training Course, 2007; Fulbright & Jaworski, International Dispute Resolution: Drafting An Effective International Arbitration Clause; The Center for Mediation in Law, Mediation Intensive Training, 2006.
Mediation teaching and mentoring
Ms. Kaster is an Adjunct Professor teaching Dispute Resolution Processes at Seton Hall Law School
Mediation publications
Chapter Author, "Addressing Impasse by Helping the Parties Value the Case" in Definitive Creative Impasse-Breaking Techniques inMediation (Klapper, Ed., NYSBA 2011)

"Cognitive Barriers to Valuing Your Case for Settlement or Mediation: Improving Your RIsk Assessment," New Jersey Lawyer Magazine (April 2011)

"Nudge -- A Book Review," NY Dispute Resolution Lawyer (NYSBA 2009)

Getting to Federal Court Under the Federal Arbitration Act: Vaden v. Discover Bank, Vol. 56 #4 The Federal Lawyer 52 (May 2009)

Unconscionability – Should we Revisit This Backdoor Challenge to Arbitration, New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer (NYSBA 2008)

Ripple & Kaster (Co-Editors), Attorney’s Guide to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (ATS/CLE,2d Ed. 2008) (updated annually, author of chapters on standard of review and oral argument, Chapter 11 and Chapter 14)

Kaster, “Business Method Patents — Litigation Issues” (PLI 2002)

Festo and the Future, Legal Times 2002 Corporate Counsel Roundtable (March 18, 2002)

Solovy, Kaster, Leuin, “Sanctions Under Supreme Court Rule 137” in Suing and Defending Professionals in Illinois (Ill. Inst. For CLE, 1997)

Solovy, Kaster, Wittenberg, “Curbing Frivolity in the Courts: Updated Cure,” National L. J. May 2,1994 (key changes to new Rule 11)

Solovy, Kaster, Hirsch, Thompson, Sanctions in Federal Litigation (Butterworth 1991)

 

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