PRINCETON, NJ, January 9, 2017 – Stevens & Lee Shareholder Suzanne M. McSorley spoke at the Practising Law Institute 2016 Building Better Construction Contracts Program held December 16, 2016, in New York City, NY.
In the session, “Mediator Ethics,” Ms. McSorley presented to an audience of more than 200 practicing attorneys, describing the source of mediator ethics and the ethical constraints under which mediators work to provide insight on why a mediator might act in a certain way at a particular point in a mediation session. Ms. McSorley defined the practice of mediation and emphasized the core tenants of mediation practice – confidentiality and the self-determination of the parties. She also discussed the meaning of “competence” in the mediation context and the proper application of conflict of interest rules governing attorney mediators, and compared and contrasted those rules with the conflict rules that apply to an attorney advocate or an attorney arbitrator.
Ms. McSorley is a construction lawyer, concentrating her practice on drafting and negotiating contracts relating to construction projects and resolving, through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation, construction-related disputes primarily for clients in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and health care industries. She has extensive experience drafting and negotiating contracts for projects as complex as “green field” pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and hospitals, as well as for routine laboratory and office renovations and fit-ups. In addition to representing parties in disputes, Ms. McSorley has served as a mediation neutral since 1996 when she was among the first 60 mediators selected by the assignment judges in the Superior Court of New Jersey for the court-annexed mediation panel. Ms. McSorley also devotes a significant portion of her professional time to advising attorneys in connection with legal ethics questions and proceedings. She has served on both the New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committee (District VII) and on the New Jersey Supreme Court Fee Arbitration Committee (District VII).
Ms. McSorley is a frequent speaker on topics relating to construction law and dispute resolution, presenting programs in the last year for the Bankruptcy Court of the District of New Jersey, the Mercer County American Inn of Court, the Marie Garibaldi American Inn of Court, the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law. She has served as a mediation skills trainer since 2004. She is an editor (with Roland Nickles, Steven Reisman and Richard Tyler) of Construction Defects, a publication of the ABA Forum on Construction Law and most recently is the author of “Take Full Advantage of the Opportunity to Mediate: Prepare, Don’t Just Show Up,” an article published in September 2014 in Under Construction.
She has a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and an A.B., cum laude, from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Suzanne M. McSorley