Steve Modica serves in an impartial capacity (arbitrator, mediator, hearing officer, referee, special master and guardian ad litem) in a variety of cases including personal injury, civil rights, malpractice, labor and employment law and Surrogates Court cases.

He received the EEOC Award for Distinguished Service (2007) and the Robert H. Jackson Special Achievement Award (2017) for his service as a Mediator. He has been AV Preeminent rated for more than 15 years (which means his work and ethics are of the highest quality as determined by a peer review of judges and lawyers) and won the Client Distinction Award (2015) from Martindale-Hubbell. He is particularly proud of the last award because it recognizes his outstanding communication ability, responsiveness, quality of service and “value for the money.”


American Arbitration Association Panel Member, Employment Arbitrator
Public Employer Union Contract Panel Member, Employment Arbitrator
Police Union/City Contract & Fire Union/City Contract, Arbitrator regarding General Municipal Law 207 disputes
Hired to decide Non-Compete and other employment disputes


American Arbitration Association Panel Member, Mediator
Certified Mediator, United States District Court, Western District of New York
Approved Mediator, New York State Unified Court System (7th Judicial District), Civil/Commercial (including Tort) and Surrogate’s Court matters
Contract with US EEOC (1999-2012)
Private Mediation Practice (1999-date)
Steve’s Work as a Mediator is Guided by Seven Principles
Steve’s Thoughts about how to Make the Most of Mediation

Special Master

Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuits–Appointed by United States District Judges
Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit—Appointed by New York State Supreme Court Judge
Consumer Protection Class Action Lawsuit–Appointed by United States District Judge

Hearing Officer

NY Civil Service Law Section 75 hearings
Departmental Disciplinary Hearings–Monroe County Sheriff

Court Appointed Referee in Foreclosure Cases & Guardian Ad Litem

Various Appointments in New York Supreme & Surrogates Courts

Highlights of Neutral Work

  • Steve earned membership on the panel of Employment Arbitrators and Mediators of a well-established (since 1926) and distinguished non-profit provider of dispute resolution services (American Arbitration Association).
  • Steve began mediating disputes at the request of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [“EEOC”] in 1999. He received an award from the EEOC in 2007 for being a distinguished mediator.
  • Steve was selected to serve on the first panel of mediators for the mandatory program of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York which began in the Fall of 2012. Since that time, and not including mediations done outside the program, he has mediated close to 200 federal court cases. A significant percentage of these cases were settled which is unusual given that it occurs typically at a very early stage in the litigation. Steve received the Robert H. Jackson Special Achievement Award from the Court in 2017 for his service as a mediator.
  • In his capacity as a Special Master in class action lawsuits (wage/hour and consumer cases), Steve decided factual disputes and made recommendations about the propriety of proposed settlements and attorney fee applications. He also presided at a hearing to determine whether the proposed settlement of a class action was fair.

American Arbitration Association