Celesq® Attorneys Ed Center

Effective Mediation Part 2 – The Art of the Opening Statement - What Should go into it and Should Your Client Speak

Program Number: 3020

Program Date: 03/09/2020


Mediation requires different advocacy skills than litigation; such differences are highlighted in a mediation opening statement. A poorly prepared, adversarial opening statement can derail or even terminate a mediation before the discussion has even begun. However, a conciliatory and settlement focused opening statement geared towards collaboration and understanding sets the appropriate tone for the negotiations and mentally prepares all sides for reaching an agreement.

Mediation opening statements require forethought and practice, with a conscious regard of tone, body language, and word choice, they should not be discounted as an important tool in the toolkit of a successful mediation. This program will explore the differences between opening statements in mediation and litigation; when mediation opening statements should be utilized; who should speak (i.e. client and/or advocate or both) and how to prepare a mediation opening statement strategically in order to advance your goals. The program aims to help advocates have a deeper understanding of the art of the opening statement to set the right tone and begin the mediation session with the best possible foundation for success.

$95.00Audio Tape Add to Cart $95.00Online Audio Add to Cart

Available in states

California, Colorado Eligible, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey Eligible, New York, New York - BOTH New and Experienced Attorneys, Texas Self Study

Credit Information

50 minute credit hour - 1.0 General CLE credit, based on a 50 minute credit hour
60 minute credit hour - 1.0 General CLE credit, based on a 60 minute credit hour

State Program Numbers


Leslie Berkoff, Esq.

Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP

Leslie A. Berkoff is a Partner with the firm where she serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation and Bankruptcy Practice Group, as well as Advisory Co-Chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Ms. Berkoff concentrates her practice in the area of bankruptcy and restructuring litigation and corporate workouts, and she represents a variety of corporate debtors, trustees, creditors and creditor committees both nationally and locally. Her practice also includes an emphasis on equipment leasing and healthcare law. Ms. Berkoff is also an experienced litigator and handles corporate transactions both locally and nationally. In addition, Ms. Berkoff has an active alternate dispute resolution practice and frequently serves as a mediator, and is also a trained arbitrator. She is on the Mediation Panels for the Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of the United States Bankruptcy Courts in New York and the United States Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as the Commercial Mediation Panel for Nassau County. Ms. Berkoff was recently selected by the American Arbitrators Association to serve on its National Roster of Arbitrators. She has also served as a court appointed examiner and guardian ad litem in several bankruptcy cases. She is currently the Chair of the Mediation Sub-Committee of the Chapter 11 Lawyers and Judges Advisory Committee for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York and Co-Chair of the Mediation Committee of the New York State Bar Association. Ms. Berkoff also serves as a Member of the Dispute Resolution Section Advisory Council of the American Bar Association (ABA) of the Business Law Section.

Prior to joining Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP, Ms. Berkoff served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerome Feller, United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of New York, from 1991 to 1993 and to the Honorable Allyne R. Ross, Federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York, from 1990 to 1991.

Ms. Berkoff speaks and publishes extensively and is a recognized leader in her field.


Elizabeth Shampnoi

Shampnoi Dispute Resolution and Management Services, Inc.

Elizabeth J. Shampnoi is President of Shampnoi Dispute Resolution and Management Services, Inc. and serves as a mediator, arbitrator, consulting expert and trainer. With 20 years of experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), Ms. Shampnoi works with in-counsel, law firms, and executives providing strategic advice to develop and implement strategies to avoid and resolve disputes quickly and efficiently while achieving successful outcomes. Ms. Shampnoi regularly serves as a mediator and arbitrator in commercial and employment disputes and has successfully mediated and arbitrated over 150 disputes. She also provides trainings for companies concerning best practices in all areas of ADR. Ms. Shampnoi’s dedication and focus in the area of ADR began early in her career when she served as the District Vice President of the New York region of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). Following her tenure at the AAA, Ms. Shampnoi served as a litigator and in-house counsel. Ms. Shampnoi is based in New York City and can be reached at (914) 522-0174 or elizabeth@shampnoiadr.com