Michael L. Fortney, Arbitrator and Mediator

posted by Michael Fortney  |  Dec 21, 2009 8:16 PM in Arbitration and Mediation

Arbitrator and mediator in employment, commercial and construction disputes

Michael L. Fortney is the founding partner of Fortney & Klingshirn, an AV rated law firm concentrating in construction law, ADR and employment law.  Mike has been AV rated by Martindale Hubbel since 1994, signifying that his "legal  abilities are of the very highest standard and that his professional ethics and conduct are above question."  Since 1985, Mike has provided sophisticated construction law, business and employment law representation to businesses and individuals. 

Mike has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, serving as both a mediator and an arbitrator in hundreds of disputes over the past 19 years.  He has been a member of the ADR Federal Court Panel for the Northern District of Ohio (1996 to present), a member of the panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association serving as an employment (1996 to present) and construction and commercial arbitrator (1995 to present), and a member of the FINRA (formerly known as the NASD) panel of arbitrators (2000 to present).

Educational and employment experience

Mike graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1985, summa cum laude.  Mike practiced with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey from 1985 until 1988, and practiced with Millisor & Nobil until forming Fortney & Klingshirn in 1993.

Areas of expertise

As an attorney, Mike maintains areas of expertise in construction law, employment and labor law, litigation, business disputes and ADR.  He has successfully litigated and served as an arbitrator and mediator in cases involving construction disputes, commercial business disputes, and employment disputes.  Commercial and business experience includes representations of parties or service as a neutral in disputes involving property issues, employment disputes, business sales and services, business ownership, and business formation and operation.

Mike's construction experience includes the representation of owners, general contractors and subcontractors and serving as an arbitrator and mediator in disputes involving competitive bidding, contract formation, unforseen and differing site conditions, scope of work disputes, changed or extra work disputes, quality of work issues, timeliness of completion, delay, acceleration, liquidated damage claims, completion of work, mechanic’s lien claims, and non-payment issues.

Mike's employment experience includes representation of parties or service as a mediator and arbitrator in disputes alleging age discrimination, race discrimination, sex harassment, and disability discrimination, cases brought under state civil rights statutes, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADEA, the ADA, the NLRA, cases alleging wrongful discharge, cases seeking the enforcement of non-competition agreements, small business ownership issues, and disputes between shareholders in closely held corporations.

Mike has been an arbitrator and mediator for many employment, construction and business disputes and has been an advocate in numerous ADR proceedings, and has served as Arbitration Panel Chair for several large and complex cases.

 Mediation Approach

Mediation is an opportunity for the parties to resolve the dispute. Litigation gives someone without a real interest in the dispute -- the jury, the judge -- the authority to decide the dispute. Mediation allows the parties to devise a resolution that works for both parties, and to be more flexible than a court or arbitrator. The mediator's role in the mediation is to understand the dispute and the position of the parties, find the common ground of the parties (even though that common ground may not be visible by the parties), assist the parties in seeing the merit to the opponent's claims or defenses, assist the parties in seeing any problems with its claims or defenses, tirelessly facilitate settlement discussions, and explore alternative means of resolving the dispute.

I expect the parties to prepare thoroughly for the mediation, attend the mediation with the appropriate representatives with authority to settle the matter, attend the mediation with the intention of resolving the matter, act with civility and respect to all in attendance, and to be open minded and to negotiate in good faith. I also expect the parties to attend the mediation with the intent to resolve the claim, and with the willingness to work tirelessly to achieve a resolution. 


Revision History

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