Institute Forms CPA Distinguished Neutrals Panel (The Trusted Professional)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

By: Philip A. Zimmerman, CPA, APM

NYSSCPA members Robert Cantor, Peter A. Hoffman, Harvey D. Moskowitz and J. Thomas Presby were chosen to sit on a newly created national panel of CPAs that specializes in alternative dispute resolution, formed by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.

The CPA Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, established in December 2006, was created in response to some corporations’ and law firms’ requests for it. Many Big Four firms—firms these businesses would normally use in dispute resolution—were unable to provide mediators and neutrals without conflicts. CPR responded by forming this panel.

CPR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals include over 900 attorneys, former judges, academics, and now CPAs available to resolve business and public disputes using ADR, according to the International Institute for CPR.

Seven other states in addition to New York are also represented on the panel, including New Jersey, California, Colorado and Florida.

Neutrals who have CPA credentials in addition to neutral expertise understand the financial implications of business processes and flows; business valuations; buy-sell agreements; financial and securities disputes; forensic accounting; insurance coverage; professional malpractice by accounting firms; partnerships,corporations, software and hardware agreements; and supply-chain processes.

CPAs for the Panel were initially selected and screened by a committee of CPAs after CPR invitations were sent to the 100 largest CPA firms in the U.S. Those selected had to have appropriate training and experience as arbitrators or mediators and must have served as such in ADR cases with large claims or had extensive experience auditing or consulting with large clients. Final approval for election to this Panel was made by senior CPR officers.

CPR will continue to process applications from qualified applicants. The Panel is administered by CPR with the assistance of a committee of CPAs who are also members of the Panel.

More information can be found at the “Finding a Mediator or Arbitrator” link at CPR’s home page, www.cpradr.org.

Philip A. Zimmerman, CPA, APM, a member of the NYSSCPA and a past chair of its Mediation and Arbitration Committee, is both an arbitrator and a mediator for the American Arbitration Association and for CPR. He is also in private practice in New York and New Jersey.

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