Bio of Nelson E. Timken

I was a judicial law clerk for the New York State Court System for 30 years, negotiating and successfully settling cases, and drafting decisions on motions in thousands of commercial, consumer and personal-injury cases. Prior to that, I had been an attorney in private litigation practice.

I haveover 200 hours of mediation training, both in New York and Florida. As a mediator, I have a facilitative style, in which I listen actively, I maintain an empathetic tone towards the parties. I ask probing, open-ended questions, and I try to lead them towards a consensus. I help them identify and understand the best alternatives to a negotiated agreement. I create an atmosphere conducive to settlement by being respectful, patient, calm and persistent; by helping each side effectively, and without hostility, communicate its interests, and range of acceptable outcomes. When needed depending on the desires of the parties, I can use my litigation experience to help each side better assess the evidentiary and discovery obstacles to success at trial. This makes settlement without trial the more realistic and beneficial alternative. My goal is not to help the parties achieve their preconceived idea of a “good” settlement, but to achieve resolution that is, all things considered, a better alternative than continuing to litigate. By earning the trust of the parties, my goal is to raise the parties’ consciousness of what negotiation strategies are most likely to achieve acceptable responses from the other party and as to what is realistically achievable from the other party at that particular.

I mediate commercial and business disputes, along with consumer and other assorted disputes. I mediate and arbitrate attorney-client fee disputes involving some of New York’s most prestigious law firms.I also mediate client grievances in the First Department for the NYC Bar’s Complaint Mediation Program.I am a member of the FINRA Roster of Mediators.


I arbitrate travel-related claims for a panel in London, UK. While working full-time in the courts, I earned an LLC in International Dispute Resolution from Fordham School of Law. My LLM thesis was published in the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution and reprinted in other international journals. I earned the prestigious title of Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. I currently serve as Co-Chair of the New York County Lawyers Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and as a Director of NYCLA’s Board of Directors.I am also a member of the NY American Inn of Court and Co-Chair of its ADR team. I speak Spanish, some French, and am learning Ukrainian.