FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Lester J. Levy

Lester J. Levy


San Francisco, CA, USA

Lester J. Levy, Esq.
Settlement Master/Ombudsman

Lester J. Levy is an expert in designing and managing post settlement proceedings in class action and mass torts cases. Mr. Levy created JAMS Class Action Settlement Adjudication Program and is a founding member of the JAMS bankruptcy practice.

Lawyers and their clients have confidence in Mr. Levy because he pays attention to the details. The processes he designs and oversees have integrity that yields predictable and consistent outcomes.

Settlement Master/Ombudsman – Practice Area Expertise

  • Business/Commercial Transactions
  • Bankruptcy Claims & Preferences
  • Consumer Finance, Credit & Banking
  • Construction Defect & Building Products
  • Employment & Civil Rights
  • Environment & Toxic Torts
  • High Tech/Intellectual Property
  • Insurance Products
  • Limited Partnership Disputes & Dissolutions
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Securities & Antitrust

Representative Settlement Master/Ombudsman Responsibilities

  • Negotiation and adoption of plans of allocation
  • Development of damages matrixes
  • Elimination of invalid claims
  • Individualized awards based on individual circumstances
  • Quality control measures to ensure consistency of process and awards

Representative Matters

  • Advisor, The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (International settlement involving more than 55,000 claims for life insurance benefits)
  • Chief Adjudicator, the African American Farmers Cases (Pigford v. U.S. Department of Agriculture) (25,000 Civil Rights actions based on alleged historical discrimination)
  • Judge Pro Tempore, In re General Chemical Richmond Works Cases (Mediated settlement and oversaw distribution of settlement funds to 65,000 claimants resulting from toxic release)
  • Mediator, Hanlon v. Chrysler Motors (Fee mediation relating to settlement of national Product Liability action alleging defective mini-van door latches)
  • Mediator, In re BKP Securities (Class action by Limited Partners of hedge fund against General Partner)
  • Mediator, Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Premium Litigation (National MDL class action involving all purchasers of vanishing premium life insurance policies)
  • Mediator, Masonite Hardboard Siding Cases (National Product Liability class action involving allegedly defective hardboard siding)
  • Settlement Master, Cemwood Hardboard Siding Cases (National Product Liability class action involving allegedly defective products)
  • Settlement Master, In re Catacarb Cases (Allocation of finite settlement fund among 11,000 claimants resulting from refinery airborne toxic release)
  • Settlement Master, In re Cryptosporidium Cases (Class of 4,000 Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Action based on contamination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin municipal water system)
  • Settlement Master, Lesser v. IKON (class action regarding corporate sales tax liability)
  • Settlement Ombudsman, In re Providian Credit Card Cases (Settlement of coordinated federal and state cases nationwide involving 24,000,000 class members)
  • Special Master, Atchison Topeka Railway Company v. INA, et al. (National coordinated insurance coverage action involving more than 600 contaminated sites throughout the United States)
  • Special Master, Barnett v. Glenborough Federal Bank (Judge for all purposes, by appointment, presiding over 5,000 limited partnership claims)
  • Special Master, Beloit Liquidating Trust (Systematic mediation and arbitration of claims and preferences arising out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Proceeding)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Registered Mediator, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Adjunct Professor, Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of San Francisco Law School
  • Member, ADR Panels for the Northern California Federal District Court, and the Superior Courts of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and San Mateo Counties
  • Member, ADR Panels for the Bankruptcy Courts in the Districts of Delaware and the Southern District of New York
  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Former Vice Chair & Member, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Section of the American Bar Association
  • Chair & Member, ADR Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2005-2008
  • Founder, JAMS’ Class Action Settlement Program
  • Founder, JAMS’ Environmental Judicial College
  • Trained in mediation/negotiation at Harvard Law School (Roger Fisher, author of Getting to Yes)
  • Written and lectured on ADR to Bar Associations including the ABA, IBA, law firms, private companies, and law schools throughout the United States
  • "Mediator Creates Healthy Settlement Environment," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, March 23, 2007

Background and Education

  • Munger, Tolles & Olson, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, 1986-1994
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Irving R. Kaufman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1985-1986
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 1985; Chief Articles Editor, Cardozo Law Review
  • B.Mus., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 1981, Classical Guitar Performance and Composition

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