2013 Legal Elite profile: Alternative Dispute Resolution
Leslye S. Fenton
Odin, Feldman & Pittleman PC
Other legal specialties: Commercial leasing, family law
Birthplace: New York City
Education: Hofstra University, bachelor’s degree; Yeshiva University, master’s degree in social work; George Mason School of Law, law degree.
Spouse: Jonathan Moreno
Children: Jarrett Moreno, Jillian Moreno
Hobbies or pastimes: Hiking, cooking
First job as a lawyer: Odin, Feldman & Pittleman PC
Fan of: College basketball
Favorite vacation spot: Berkshires
Recently read book: “The Burgess Boys” by Elizabeth Strout
Career mentors: “Founders of my firm: David Feldman, Dexter Odin and Jimmy Pittleman.”
How did you become involved in alternative dispute resolution?
“After college and before law school I was fortunate to work in a pilot mediation program in the court system. Working with potential delinquents in the program showed me the importance of helping people reach consensus. Once individuals listen to one another and try to understand the other party’s position they are usually more willing to move toward a resolution. Being heard is a powerful tool.”
What advantages does ADR offer over settling a dispute in court?
“Whether mediation, negotiation or arbitration is used, ADR affords parties an opportunity to work together in a less adversarial atmosphere. Although parties do not reach their own decision if they use arbitration, each party still retains more control and flexibility than litigation. ADR is often more cost-effective, definitely less emotionally taxing than litigation and certainly faster. Whether the dispute to be resolved is commercial or personal, outcomes are generally more satisfactory as each party has had an opportunity to be heard and to more fully participate in the process.”