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IMI Certified Mediator
AAA - American Arbitration Association
Ms. Kaster is the 2018 winner of the Richard K. Jeydel Award for ADR Excellence from the Garibaldi ADR Inn of Court and 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."
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.
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.
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.
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)
Training and Education
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.
Ms. Kaster is an Adjunct Professor teaching Dispute Resolution Processes at Seton Hall Law School
Ms. Kaster has presented on Judgment, Cognitive Bias, Mediating and Arbitrating Technical cases, and has taught basic and advanced mediation for NJICLE, the Garibaldi Inn of Court, PLI, the CCA, the AAA and SVAMC
Co-editor , CCA Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration (4th Ed. 2017)
Chapter co-Author, "Arbitrating Technology Cases: Considerations for Businesspeople and Advocates," in Harrie Samaras, Ed., ADR Advocacy, Strategies, and Practices for Intellectual Property and Technology Cases
Chapter author in David C. Singer, Ed., Arbitrating Commercial Disputes in the United States (PLI 2018)
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)