|About Barton A. Bixenstine, Esq.:
|Bart Bixenstine draws on a distinguished legal career spanning nearly 35 years. Since entering the legal profession in 1981, Bixenstine has mediated or arbitrated more than 100 matters, while also litigating and providing legal counsel.
|Bixenstine’s areas of expertise span virtually every type of employment-related dispute, and he has lectured and published on numerous dispute resolution topics. Having served as a litigator, arbitrator and mediator, he has overseen cases involving employment and labor disputes, commercial and employment contract disputes and non-competition/trade secrets disputes, with specialized expertise in analyzing complex statistical and financial issues. Additionally, Bixenstine has provided preventive legal counsel to employers and employees covering the entire range of personnel issues, including contract administration, hiring, firing, mergers, relocations, force reductions and restrictive covenants.
|Most recently, Bixenstine served as a Partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP in Cleveland. Prior to that, Bixenstine was a partner as Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. and, before that, Ulmer & Berne, LLP. Bixenstine has consistently been selected for Best Lawyers in America and Ohio Super Lawyers honors, and recently as a ranked lawyer in Chambers USA, and is a fellow in the national College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He is on panels of the American Arbitration Association for mediation and arbitration of employment and commercial disputes.
|Throughout his career, Bixenstine has refined those skill sets considered paramount to succeeding in the role of neutral facilitator – respect for individuals and their points of view, sound judgment, patience, listening skills and the capability to help parties make hard settlement decisions.
- Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (Partner, 2011-2015)
- Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Shareholder, 2008-2011)
- Ulmer & Berne, LLP (Partner, 1995-2008)
- Duvin, Cahn & Hutton (Partner, 1991-1995; Associate, 1985-1991)
- Hahn Loeser (Associate, 1983-1985)
- Taft, Stettinius & Hollister (Associate, 1981-1985)
- Iowa State University (Assistant Professor, joint appointment in Political Science and Statistics, 1976-1978)
- Litigator, arbitrator and mediator of employment and labor disputes, commercial and employment contract disputes, and non-competition/trade secrets disputes, with specialized expertise in analyzing complex statistical and financial issues.
- Has lectured and published on employment ADR, and actively promoted the use of ADR to resolve employment disputes, and drafted and negotiated employment, government and commercial contracts, and ADR agreements.
- Has litigated on behalf of employers in jury and bench trials, administrative hearings and arbitrations, and advocated for employees in resolving employment termination issues.
- Has provided preventive legal counsel to employers and employees covering the entire range of personnel issues, including contract administration, hiring, firing, mergers, relocations, force reductions and collective bargaining.
|Experience as a Mediator
- Mediator in more than 90 commercial or employment-related disputes since 1998, involving employment contract disputes, commercial contract disputes, employment discrimination, employment-related tort claims, FLSA claims, FMLA claims and a variety of ERISA or benefits-related disputes, and 8th Amendment claims.
|Representative Issues Handled as a Mediator
- Employment discrimination (age, race, disability, gender, reverse gender, reverse race) issues of intent and measure of damages
- ADA reasonable accommodation
- Breach of Ohio public sector employee statutory rights
- Breach of settlement agreement
- Common law wrongful discharge
- Promissory estoppel
- FLSA off the clock work
- FLSA training time
- FLSA professional exemption
- Retaliation claims
- Scope of res judicata arising from arbitration award
- Fair Housing Act
- FMLA retaliation
- Interference with business relations
- Dispute regarding employer obligations to multi-employer benefit plan
- Legality and scope of assignment of entitlement to health care benefits
- Breach of employment contract
- Breach of commercial contract
- Breach of contract in denial of LTD/STD benefits
- ERISA fiduciary duty claims
- ERISA denial of benefits (health care, retiree)
- ERISA fiduciary duty (stock valuation)
- ERISA scope of obligations of stop loss insurer
- Impact of bankruptcy on assignment of entitlement to health care benefits
- ERISA scope of review of administrative benefits determination
- ERISA COBRA violations
- ERISA recovery of overpayment: Application of indemnity clauses in re-insurance contracts for health care reinsurance
- Scope of liability of third party group health plan fiduciary regarding reinsurance contracts
- Scope of fiduciary duties of health care benefits consultants
- Scope of fiduciary duties arising from profit sharing plans re segregation of assets
- Appropriate measure of damages after improper distribution of profit sharing plan assets
- Claims for restitution contribution and indemnification arising from disputes relating to distribution of profit sharing plan assets
- Prisoner Cruel and Unusual Punishment through deliberate indifferent to medical issues
- Cruel and Unusual Punishment through harassment while in custody
|Years of Practice as a Mediator
|Total Number of Cases Mediated
- More than 95% of cases eventually settle, but very often on the court-house steps or after substantial expense that can be avoided through well-timed mediation.
- The mediator’s challenge is to bring to life the full force of the factors that drive cases to eventual settlement – the parties’ real interests, their financial and personal stakes, the risks of their litigation positions and the uncertainty of the litigation process.
- Those goals are accomplished by (i) learning from the parties in advance of the mediation about the dynamics of their dispute and then jointly developing a mediation plan, (ii) creating an setting where the parties can constructively voice their positions and interests with dignity, (iii) developing rapport with each side based on an honest respect for their views, and (iv) partnering with each side to productively weight the benefits of resolution against the risks and uncertainties of litigation.
|Alternative Dispute Resolution Training
- AAA Webinar, The Best Use of Med-Arb (14WEB025O) 2014
- AAA Conducting Research & Investigations: The Arbitrator’s Authority (ACE9) 2014
- AAA Webinar, Guided Choice: Innovations in Mediation to Get Better Settlements at Less Cost, 2014
- American College of e-Neutrals, Putting the ‘e’ in Neutral, American College of e-Neutrals, 2012
- AAA Webinar, How to Become a More Innovative Neutral or Advocate: Applying Cutting Edge Innovation Management Techniques to Your ADR Practice, 2012
- AAA Webinar, Muscular Arbitration Series: Does this Discovery Make My Arbitration Look Fat?, 2012
- AAA Webinar, Muscular Arbitration Series: Belt Tightening in the Pre-Hearing Conference, 2012
- AAA Webinar, Muscular Arbitration Series: Weight Lifting – Muscular Ethics, 2012
- AAA Webinar, Muscular Arbitration Series: Warm Up – Getting Started in Trim Arbitration, 2012
- AAA Webinar, Controlling Chaos in Mediation: Navigating the Behavioral Paradigm, 2012
- AAA Maximizing Efficiency & Economy in Arbitration: Challenges at the Preliminary Hearing, 2011
- AAA Webinar, Solving the Puzzle of Just Cause in Labor Arbitration, 2011
- Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating in the Red Zone, 2010
- AAA Arbitrator Ethics & Disclosure (ACE003), 2009
- AAA Arbitration Roadmap: The Standard for Efficient and Cost Effective Arbitration, 2008
- AAA Dealing With Delay Tactics in Arbitration (ACE004), 2008
- AAA Pro Se: Managing Cases Involving Self-Represented Parties (ACE002), 2007
- AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2006
- AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2004
- AAA Employment Arbitrator II Training, 2002
- AAA Arbitrator Update 2001
- AAA Commercial Arbitrator Training, 1999
- AAA Employment Arbitrator Training, 1998
- Admitted to the Bar: Ohio, 1981
- U.S. District Court: Southern (1981) and Northern (1983) Districts of Ohio, 1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1981
- Member, Kent State University National Alumni Board of Directors
- Board of Trustees, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation
- Advisory Board, Kent State University Honors College
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Ohio State Bar Association
- American Arbitration Association ( Past Chair, Labor Advisory Committee)
- Federal Court Panel of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Northern District of Ohio
- Kent State University (B.A., magna cum laude -1971)
- Indiana University (M.A., Statistics -1973; Ph.D, Political Science -1977)
- University of Chicago (J.D.-1981)