Carole Katz, Principal
Carole Katz is the Principal of Carole Katz LLC, a firm devoted to alternative dispute resolution. She offers her services privately, and also is approved for a number of panels and rosters, including:
• US District Court for the Western Pennsylvania - approved Mediator and Early Neutral Evaluator, eDiscovery Special Master and eMediator, and Bankruptcy Court Mediator
• American Arbitration Association - Large Complex Case, Employment and Commercial Panels - approved Arbitrator and Mediator
• FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) - approved Arbitrator and Mediator (Chairperson Roster)
• Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - approved Mediator
Carole has been appointed to the American Arbitration Association's National Employment Council. She has consistently been peer-recognized as Preeminent® (Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media (she is rated 5.0 out of 5.0)) and one of "Pittsburgh's Top AV Rated Lawyers," and while in private practice as a lawyer, she was repeatedly selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
She brings to her work as Neutral a unique combination of trial, litigation, and business executive experience.
Business Executive Experience. As Vice President of Litigation for FedEx Ground from 2006-2012, Carole was responsible for all of the company's litigation. She developed litigation and negotiation strategies, and led negotiations in complex cases that carried significant financial implications.
Carole led the litigation and risk management teams in successfully positioning many hundreds of cases for victories and favorable resolutions by agreement. Her responsibilities included:
• Leading commercial, employment and wage and hour class and collective actions
• Overseeing the broad array of cases businesses face such as employment cases brought by current and former employees, contract and commercial claims asserted by other businesses or customers, and personal injury cases brought by people injured in vehicle accidents involving a FedEx Ground truck.
• Working directly with top executives and senior management, and advising them on legal risks of major cases, litigation prevention and practical implications of available options
• Playing key roles on strategic forward-looking interdisciplinary teams comprised of leaders from finance, engineering, operations and strategic-planning
• Serving as the Founding Chair of FedEx Ground's Pro Bono Committee, which was awarded the Allegheny County Bar Association's 2011 Organization Pro Bono Award for its work protecting victims of domestic violence, preparing wills for the indigent, and helping disabled children access public education
Litigation Experience. For more than 20 years before joining FedEx Ground Carole:
• Handled a wide variety of employment-related cases as a partner in two major international law firms
• Headed the Pittsburgh Labor and Employment Group at Morgan Lewis from 2002-2006, leading her team to successful outcomes in trials and settlements
• Obtained countless successful results at Reed Smith from 1985-2002 through settlements, trials, summary judgments, and appellate arguments
Education. Carole received her law degree from Columbia University in 1985. She graduated from Kenyon College in 1981 (Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, Honors).
Formal Mediation and Arbitration Training. In 2012, Carole successfully completed the Harvard Negotiation Institute's Mediating Disputes program taught by Robert Mnookin, Gary Friedman, and David Hoffman. She has since completed: the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution's 18-hour course titled Advanced Mediation: Skills and Techniques, the Center for Dispute Settlement's Advanced Mediation Techniques program, an advanced mediation workshops. Carole has formally trained as an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and FINRA through classes on, for example: arbitration best practices, award writing, dealing with pro se parties in arbitration, and the scope of arbitrator authority. .
Values. The values and priorities that underpin Carole's work as a mediator, arbitrator, and case evaluator are:
• Solving problems through communication, collaboration, understanding, persistence and creativity
• Respecting others' autonomy to make decisions that affect their lives and businesses
• Helping and supporting others in reaching their goals
• Working hard to provide excellent results
• Acting with integrity always