An innovative and visionary leader, Michele Kern-Rappy, Esq. is a highly respected mediator with more than 35 years of experience as the Senior Mediator and Settlement Coordinator for the NYS Unified Court System. Successfully mediating more than 6,500 commercial and civil cases covering a wide range of complex matters, her highly acclaimed approach is marked by persistence, patience, and impartiality to produce superior levels of case resolution.


With more than 35 years of experience as the principal mediator for the NY state unified court system, Michele Kern-Rappy, Esq., is a seasoned veteran whom clients can trust to optimize their settlement success rate. Having developed the court’s unique and award-winning mediation program, she has mediated more than 6,500 commercial and civil disputes as an authority in such areas as premises liability and construction, labor law, personal injury, insurance coverage, malpractice, product liability, commercial litigation, employment law, partnership, and family business.

A highly-skilled and renowned professional in her field, Ms. Kern-Rappy offers private lawyers a robust and purposeful approach to mediation that she has finely honed during her extensive career. Bringing an elevated level of trust, tenacity, and transparency to each case she referees, Ms. Kern-Rappy is well recognized and respected as a proficient and dynamic mediator with an enviable settlement rate.


years of


civil disputes

15 %


Tenacity, creativity, and trust are hallmarks of Ms. Kern-Rappy’s approach to mediation

Areas of Expertise


Contract disputes, partnership or corporation disputes, shareholder disputes, class action suits

Premises Liability

Personal injuries stemming from all kinds of hazardous conditions on property

Personal Injury

Construction accidents, automobile accidents, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injury, complex  products liability, legal malpractice


Discrimination, leave, hostile work environment, noncompetes, retaliation, harassment, wage and overtime, whistleblower, wrongful termination

Real Estate

Litigation concerning commercial and residential properties, including cooperatives and condominiums

Family-Owned Business

Provides creative solutions to contract disputes and unfair competition and other torts

Divorce Mediation

Equitable distribution, spousal support, child support, parenting and time sharing.

Trusts and Estates Mediation

Managing complex family issues


Award-Winning Expertise and a Deep Bench of Experience

With more than 35 years’ experience as sole mediator in NY state’s unified court system, Ms. Kern-Rappy has successfully mediated over 6,500 disputes resolving a wide variety of complex litigation. Her persistence, patience, and meticulous attention to detail define how she approaches each case at every stage of conflict resolution. Ms. Kern-Rappy is especially skilled at multi-defendant mediation where her exceptional case research ethic is thoroughly applied to each party.

A visionary leader and role model, Ms. Kern-Rappy established the widely acclaimed mediation non-jury (Med-NJ) program early in her court career, earning her own chambers and developing the rules that provided direction to the initiative. As the only mediator and settlement coordinator in this unique program, Ms. Kern-Rappy served 60 Supreme Court judges in NYC and their staff, providing mediation strategy, counsel, and mentorship.

Ms. Kern-Rappy has co-chaired the NYS Bar Association Advocacy Committee as well as the ADR Section of the NY Women’s Bar Association. During her tenure with the NY Supreme Court, she served on the prestigious Chief Judge’s ADR Task Force, was the Court’s sole mediator with law interns from schools throughout the state and conducted Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)-related training with the Administrative Judge and the Bar.

With a strong interest in mediator work/life balance and mindfulness, Ms. Kern-Rappy created the highly acclaimed courthouse yoga and meditation program for NYS Justices and staff. She continues to train and mentor lawyers, students, and other professionals, and is a popular speaker and author in the mediation arena.

Clients can count on a rigorous and strategic roadmap to mediation that optimizes settlement success


The Standard for Optimal Mediation Results

Successful strategies for interest-based mediation require a clear and systematic process. Ms. Kern-Rappy has developed — and trademarked — such a step-based, transparent and methodological approach entitled R.A.I.S.E.™

RAISE creates a change in thinking from litigation to mediation, facilitating a calm and supportive platform in the midst of high conflict

Research, Recognize, Rapport

Active Listening, Acknowledge, Adapt

Insight, Investigate, Interest

Solutions and Strategies

Evolve Evaluate, Elevate, and End in Agreement

Ms. Kern-Rappy offers exceptional skill in case research as well as immaculate preparation, enabling clients to gather and consolidate the information pertinent to their arguments. Her empathic and impartial approach helps opposing parties recognize each other’s goals and interests and builds rapport by encouraging open dialogue and communication.

Evolving a dispute in a goal-oriented way keeps momentum strong while propelling all parties forward and focused on the future

Active listening is at the heart of a good mediator. Ms. Kern-Rappy is exceptionally skilled at nonjudgmental listening and helping parties to a dispute acknowledge opposing viewpoints. Her vast experience mediating thousands of cases has honed her ability to help parties to a conflict shift from an adversarial mindset while adapting to a more collaborative way of communication.

Identifying areas of agreement and disagreement and aligning common interests allows for greater insight into the issues to be resolved, and deeper investigation of the issues. Facilitating goal-driven dialogue enables the process to move forward with trust and optimism.

Keeping focused on the next steps, barriers to settlement are uncovered that enable more productive brainstorming of strategies and solutions.

Throughout the mediation process, even as work proceeds Ms. Kern-Rappy continues to evaluate whether mediation would be fruitful. While new issues may evolve, Ms. Kern-Rappy continues to elevate the discussions from adversarial to collaborative. Throughout the process — however long it takes — Ms. Kern-Rappy forges ahead with patience, creativity, and an unerring commitment to ending in agreement.



Office of Michele Kern-Rappy
Dispute Resolution, PLLC
Office of Resolute Systems, LLC
370 Lexington Avenue, Suite 702
New York, New York 10017

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