Dispute Resolution

Mr. Cottone is a full time neutral and has served as an arbitrator or mediator and has reviewed, chaired or been a panelist on securities disciplinary matters in well over one thousand cases in the last twenty years. Types of cases arbitrated or mediated, in addition to all kinds of securities and real estate controversies, have included contract, franchise, intellectual property, partnership, and various commercial disputes.

  • Arbitration

    Mr. Cottone has been an arbitrator since 1976 when he was qualified by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD, now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA). He is currently an arbitrator for FINRA, the American Arbitration Association (AAA), and The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE). Over the years he has been panelist or chair in many types of securities, real estate and commercial disputes, both as sole arbitrator and member of three person panels, both privately and under the auspices of an ADR organization. He is on the faculty of both the Arbitration and Mediation Institutes sponsored annually by the ABA Dispute Resolution Section.

    In the early nineties he was selected by the Claims Administrator in SEC v. Prudential as a hearing officer in a med-arb process involving litigation brought against Prudential by the SEC and NASD regarding real estate limited partnerships. He was sole arbitrator-mediator in approximately 65 customer cases, about 95% of which were settled in a negotiated process, and about 5% through arbitration. No efforts to appeal were made by any of these parties.

    In 2004 he was retained by JAMS (then JAMS – Endispute) for an arbitration panel with two former federal judges in a securities case heard in Pittsburgh over a two week period which involved failure to execute a securities transaction. The Respondent’s court appeal of the multi-million dollar award in that matter was denied.


  • Mediation

    Mr. Cottone has been mediating since the SEC v Prudential work in the early nineties, and is qualified to handle cases for FINRA (formerly he mediated for the both the NASD and NYSE), the AAA (real estate and commercial panels), the US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of NY, and CRE. He is a certified mediator of the International Mediation Institute at the Hague and has mediated private commercial cases brought in federal court, the Commerce Court of Philadelphia, and the courts of a number of states.

    In the mid-nineties Mr. Cottone chaired the Sub-committee of the NASD National Arbitration Committee that developed the mediation rules and procedures for the securities industry. He then became Chair of the parent committee for three years, the re-named National Arbitration and Mediation Committee. He was among the early mediators approved to practice by the NASD and was also one of the representatives of the NASD that attended SICA (Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration) meetings to introduce the mediation program to the other self-regulatory organizations in the United States.

    In the late nineties he co-authored and began teaching the one day course, Mediation in Right of Way, for the International Right of Way Association. In 2003 -2005 he was the speaker on mediation for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute full day course, Prosecuting & Defending Claims Against Broker Dealers, given in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh (the course was dropped in 2005 with the decrease in securities arbitration).

    In 2005 he chaired a CRE ADR Task Force, and then the standing ADR Committee (2006-2008), that created a national ADR program in real estate. He was principal editor of the CRE ADR Rules and Procedures, and was a trainer for CRE arbitrators and mediators. He has also served as a trainer for mediation students of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM) and of Fordham and Temple Law Schools.

  • Top

  • Professional Associations, Publications, and Speaking Engagements (Dispute Resolution)

    Mr. Cottone is an officer and a member of the Executive Committee of the governing council of the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association; Director and co-program chair of the Delaware Valley chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution; a member of the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators; and a member of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators.


  • He has published the following:
    • The World Trade Center and Me: From Camelot to Bin Laden, The Counselors of Real Estate Real Estate Issues, Summer 2002, Volume 27, Number Two  (Read this article)
    • Thoughts on Managing a Multi-Party Mediation, The NASD Neutral Corner, October 2004 Issue  (Read this article)
    • Top Ten Specious Reasons Why Lawyers Won’t Mediate, PIABA (Plaintiff Investors Arbitration Bar Association) Bar Journal, Fall, 2004 Issue, and the PBI (PA) Course Text (2005)  (Read this article)
    • Hearts and Minds Will Follow: An Essay on Mediation, PLI (NY) Course Textbook, Securities Arbitration 2007  (Read this article)
    • A Case Study: Med-Arb Worked in U.S. for Real Estate Partnership Claims, New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, NYSBA, Spring 2009 Issue  (Read this article)
    • Mediating a FINRA Securities Case: A Practical Guide, PLI (NY) Course Textbook, Securities Arbitration 2011  (Read this article)
    • The Pre-Hearing Conference in Arbitration - A Step by Step Guide, PLI (NY) Course Textbook, Securities Arbitration 2012.  (Read this article)


    Recent speaking and teaching engagements include:
    • Results of ABA Dispute Resolution Section Report on Mediation Quality, CRE Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November, 2008;  ACR Delaware Valley Chapter, February, 2009;New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (with Deborah Masucci), New Brunswick, NJ, December, 2009
    • Reminiscences on Right of Way and Dispute Resolution, Pennsylvania Chapter International Right of Way Association, October, 2010
    • Regulation D and Private Placements, PIABA 19th Annual Meeting, Ponte Vedre Beach, FL, 2010
    • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About..... FINRA Securities Dispute Resolution, Chair of panel at ABA Dispute Resolution Section Spring Conference, Denver, CO, 2011
    • The Mediator's Perspective- Effective Mediation Techniques, PIABA 20th Annual Meeting, Rancho Mirage, CA, 2011
    • Arbitration Practicum: Effective Practitioner Techniques and Avoiding Common Mistakes, and a second panel on Do Neutrals Really Care About the Law? - PLI (NY) Securities Arbitration 2011
    • Out of the Ashes: 9/11: a Model for Dispute Resolution, Workshop Leader, ACR (Association for Conflict Resolution) Delaware Valley Chapter, 2011
    • Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute - Faculty for ABA Dispute Resolution Section Eighth Annual in Fort Lauderdale, Fl (2010), Ninth Annual in San Diego, CA (2011), and Tenth Annual in Boston (2012).
    • Arbitration Training Institute - Faculty for ABA Dispute Resolution Section Seventh Annual in Philadelphia, PA (2012).

    Top