Specialty Programs

Specialty Programs

The Center is the premier provider of third party neutrals throughout the 8-county NY State 7th Judicial District.  The Center’s third party neutral services provide access to independent and neutral mediators, arbitrators, fact-finders, facilitators and dispute resolution specialists.  These services are provided by Center staff and volunteers who are trained and certified under the auspices of the New York State Unified Court Services Office of Court Administration.

These Special Projects services are available to provide cost effective alternatives to the courts.

These services are available to commercial, not-for-profit, municipal, community groups and individuals.  The services offered include:

  • Commercial Mediation
  • Third Party Neutral Hearing Officer Services
  • Election Oversight Services
  • Restorative Justice Services
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Fact-Finding Services
  • Small and Large Group Facilitation


For more information contact: Frank Liberti at fliberti@cdsadr.org or call (585) 546-5110 x106


City Housing Arbitration Program (CHAP)

This program is available to assist homeowners who have obtained a home improvement grant or loan through a City of Rochester program.

Properties receiving a home improvement grant or loan through government sponsored programs have a mandated arbitration clause stipulation built into the contract as a means of addressing issues that may arise between the homeowner and contractor chosen to perform the work necessary to bring the property up to standard.

If/when it is felt that contractual terms have not been met by either party an arbitrator is assigned from the CHAP panel to resolve any contractor/homeowner disputes.

For more information contact: Frank Liberti at fliberti@cdsadr.org or (585) 546-5110 x106


Many Manufactured Home residents and park owners experience classic landlord/tenant problems and the unique problem that many residents own their own home but not the land upon which it is situated. Mediation is used successfully in conflicts over living conditions, provision of services and other common   issues arising between tenants and owners in manufactured home parks in New York State..

Mediation Offers:

  • A neutral setting to resolve disputes
  • Prompt service
  • No cost for services to tenant or park operator
  • Convenient locations throughout New York State
  • Confidentiality

Mediation services are provided through:

New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal/Mobil Homes Section

38-40 State Street
Albany, New York 12207


Agricultural Mediation is a tool for farmers, agribusiness and others in the agricultural community to talk about difficult subjects and to reach fair and workable solutions without involving outside authorities. Mediation can help people solve problems, avoid escalating conflict, reduce stress, and save time and money.

Mediation is confidential and convenient.

Free or low cost services are available in every county in New York. Local mediators are trained under the supervision of the New York State Unified Court System.


Restorative Justice is the newest description for a Victim-based Justice System as an alternative to the traditional Criminal Justice System. Restorative processes are not new to the Center for Dispute Settlement and, in fact, restorative processes have been used by the Center for many years, albeit by other names such as, Victim/Offender Mediation.

The concept of providing community members with a means to begin the healing process after an incident was, in large part, the motivation that gave birth to The Center in the early 1970’s. The Center was the first Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) in New York State, the third in the country and remains the longest continuously operating CDRC. CDRCs are now found throughout the country as well as internationally. The Restorative Justice concept and its processes are cornerstones of The Center’s Mission, which is: “To use and promote peaceful dispute resolution processes throughout our communities.”

The processes and specific formats used throughout The Center’s forty years of providing community healing for individuals and larger groups continue to evolve. Over time individual two-party mediations, along with other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes, have shifted in concept from directive to facilitative to transformative approaches. Larger group community healing processes have also similarly morphed to more open approaches. Currently there are various “Circle Work” techniques being utilized for both small interpersonal one-on-one and larger group processes. However, regardless of the process used, the basic concept of providing individuals and larger community groups with self-determinate opportunities that empower participants to make clearer, more informed decisions, that impact each individually and holistically, remain core to The Center’s prime mission.


The Center is the local administrator for the New York State Lemon Law Arbitration Program.  The New Car, Used Car and Wheelchair Lemon Laws provide a legal remedy for buyers or lessees of new and used cars that turn out to be lemons. If the car does not conform to the terms of the written warranty and the manufacturer or its authorized dealer is unable to repair the car after a reasonable number of attempts, consumers may be entitled to a full refund. An arbitration is held in a timely manner in a location convenient for a consumers using local arbitrators selected by the Center.

Link for the Attorney General’s page: http://www.ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/lemon-law


Surrogate Decision Making Committee (SDMC)

Surrogate decision making is a term used to describe situations in which one makes decisions on behalf someone else.

This program is available for referrals that are made from the Commission on Quality Care and Assistance to People with Disabilities (CQCAPD). Referrals are made when a decision on whether or not to have a medical procedure is needed for mentally disabled persons residing in State run facilities.

A four-person panel assembled by the SDMC Coordinator evaluates and makes decisions regarding the following:

  1. Whether or not the individual has the capacity to make his or her own decision.
  2. Whether there is an available surrogate.
  3. Whether the proposed procedure is in the best interest of the patient.

The direct benefit is immediate attention and expediency.

Available in the following counties: Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Yates, Wyoming, Chemung and Schuyler.

For more information contact: Jim Waight at jwaight@cdsadr.org or call (607) 776-6976

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