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Diversity & Community Services Mosaics Newsletter: Summer 2014
Michael S. Oberman is a partner in Kramer Levin’s Litigation Department and head of its Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group. He has litigated a wide variety of complex civil cases at the trial and appellate levels and in arbitration, including antitrust, breach of contract, copyright, securities and trademark cases.
In recent matters, Mr. Oberman served as lead trial counsel for respondent in a 20-day arbitration in which claimant sought over $130 million in damages; the arbitrators' award dismissed all of claimant's claims with prejudice and denied claimant any recovery of damages. He then successfully represented respondent in the judicial review of the award: the award was confirmed by N.Y. Supreme Court, N.Y. County; Supreme Court's judgment was unanimously affirmed by the Appellate Division - First Department; and ultimately unanimously affirmed in November 2011 by the N.Y. Court of Appeals (in a decision of first impression on the standard for "evident partiality" to be applied by N.Y. state courts under the Federal Arbitration Act). He obtained an arbitration award dismissing a claim for $60 million in alleged lost profits damages on a pre-hearing motion, which was confirmed by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He also obtained injunctive relief on behalf of a publisher of video games in a landmark decision providing expansive copyright protection for video games. In another case, he obtained a judgment dismissing a claim for $100 million in consequential damages.
Mr. Oberman's experience in alternative dispute resolution proceedings includes service as an arbitrator and a mediator. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association's Large, Complex Commercial Case Panel as well its Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Panels, and of the CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. He is a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and a member of the College's Education Committee. Mr. Oberman was one of the first attorneys chosen as a mediator for the Mandatory Mediation Program of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
In addition to serving as an advocate and as a neutral, Mr. Oberman has written on court and ADR procedures and administration and is active in efforts for court and ADR reform. He has served as a member of Chief Judge Kaye's Commercial Courts Task Force, which created the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court, and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Second Circuit Rules and Operating Procedures. Since 1989, he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section of the New York Bar Association and was the Section's Delegate in the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates from 1989-91. He is also a member of the Dispute Resolution Sections of the American Bar and New York State Bar Associations. In 2009, Mr. Oberman was an invited participant at the National Summit on Business to Business Arbitration held in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Oberman has been listed in New York Super Lawyers for 2006 through 2013.