Who We Are
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NYSDRA is committed to the promotion of quality conflict management and peaceful dispute resolution.

Established in 1985, NYSDRA is a professional membership association, and  administers statewide dispute resolution programs under contract with several state agencies. Members include Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs), individual practitioners, and others who are dedicated to advancing the field and their skills.

NYSDRA provides: 

  • Statewide program and contract management of mediation programs 
  • Annual conference with professional workshops and awards
  • Advanced mediation and arbitration training
  • Outreach and advocacy to increase public awareness of dispute resolution and the services provided by our members  
  • Connections between emerging needs for dispute resolution and the services offered by our members
  • Website with listings of educational and employment opportunities, special events, and directory of service providers

For over 30 years NYSDRA has supported our CDRC members, who provide mediation and arbitration services in every county of the state. The network handles court referred cases, local referrals and NYSDRA referrals, and delivers services to 65,000-70,000 people across the state in nearly 30,000 cases. At least 74% of those cases result in agreements or resolutions, usually within a few weeks, with compliance rates of over 95%. Dispute resolution and other services are provided at low or no cost to NY residents. 
NYSDRA is a leader in dispute resolution training and professional advancement for private practitioners, public entities, and individuals interested providing and promoting dispute resolution.  

NYSDRA provides administrative staff, overall supervision and quality assurance, specialized training, technical assistance, consumer outreach and education in the following advanced dispute resolution programs:

NYS Agricultural Mediation Program (NYSAMP) 
is a joint federal and state program, sponsored by the United States Department of Agricultural and the NYS Unified Court System. NYSAMP provides mediation services to farmers and other customers of the USDA, agricultural creditors, and other members of agricultural communities. Conflicts include neighbor complaints, debts, unpaid bills, business planning, land use conflicts, and succession planning. 

AmeriCorps Community Mediation Service Corps

The Community Mediation Service Corps (CMSC) is a partnership between the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA) and several non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRC) across the state of New York. Our goal is to help foster supportive local communities for youth by delivering high quality dispute resolution services to youth and families.

IOLA Access to Justice - Expanding Access to ADR Services in New York State

NYSDRA is a grantee of the NYS IOLA fund to provide expanded scope and access to Alternative Dispute Resolution services and training to local, low-income communities and marginalized populations in all sixty-two counties in New York State.

NYS Lemon Law Arbitration Program

The NYS Lemon Law Arbitration Program is a partnership with the NYS Attorney General's Office providing consumers due process to provide an independent, efficient and fair forum to settle disputes for consumers whose new or used motor vehicles turn out to be "lemons." This program is for new, leased, and used cars, motor homes, motorcycle and wheelchair consumers. 

Disability Programs

Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Project - Improving Conversations for Better Outcomes 

This program is designed to increase awareness of and access to New York State Community Dispute Resolution Program (CDRCP) services among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), their family members and organizations providing IDD services. The program will develop and maintain relationships with community stakeholders, statewide associations and agencies, and service providers. Selected CDRCP pilot sites will collaboratively participate in a learning community to create and implement outreach strategies; train staff and volunteers in IDD awareness; develop policies and protocols to make services IDD informed; manage and facilitate program services; and formally evaluate services. The desired outcome is to improve access and utilization of CDRCP dialogue and dispute resolution services for individuals with IDD and their families.

ACCES VR Mediation Program (Age 14+)
with the NYS Education Department. Also established in 1990, this program offers consumers alternative dispute resolution options to resolve disagreements about vocational rehabilitation services.
Early Intervention Mediation Program (Birth to Age 3)
with the NYS Department of Health. Established in 1993, this program assists families of infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities when conflict arises over a child’s services.

Special Education Mediation Program (Pre-K to Grade 12)
with the NYS Education Department. Established in 1990, this program offers parents and schools access to mediation services to help them resolve disagreements about the special-needs students’ individualized educational programs.

The Community Dispute Resolution Centers Network

was established in 1991; CDRCs serve all 62 counties of New York. Nearly 1,400 professionally trained mediators donate their time in their communities. Mediation is cost effective:  the average cost--at less than $350 per case --is far less costly than traditionally litigated cases.  Referrals come from family and civil courts, previous clients, self-referrals, public agencies and private organizations. CDRCs provide services to all residents, including low-income persons and underserved groups. Their shared mission is to give people tools to address conflict peacefully and productively, and to improve access to justice. 

2017-18 NYS Unified Court System Annual Statistical Report


Outreach and Advocacy
NYSDRA and the CDRC network are increasing the understanding and use of dispute resolution and resources. Our public awareness campaigns have increased our visibility and our capacity to advocate in the state legislature, court system and executive office. In 2019 Chief Judge DiFiore a and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks pledged to increase funding to the CDRCs in order to expand family services. We are working with agencies and stakeholders to identify local resources for implementing the Raise the Age legislation and other juvenile justice reforms.
Structure and Partnerships
NYSDRA is a private not-for-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors, an Executive Director and 7 staff members. The Directors bring legal, mediation, and business acumen to their positions on the Board, as well as a passion for the mission. Our staff are a passionate and dedicated team committed to the programs we deliver.

NYSDRA is an active member of several organizations which also provide advice and resources. 
Our close relationship with the Unified Court System provides us the opportunity to support the work and witness the impact CDRCs are having in their communities. 

NYSDRA’s public and private members benefit from sharing experience and knowledge of emerging practices and community needs, and from our coordinated outreach and advocacy initiatives. Through shared data, ideas and energy, we work with many stakeholders to improve access to justice; increase the use of dispute resolution, restorative practices, and collaborative problem solving; and to build stronger and safer communities.