NEWS - Press Release

JANUARY 16, 2008

JUDGE JEROME M. BECKER IS NAMED TO NAM'S PANEL OF HIGHLY DISTINGUISHED DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROFESSIONALS


Hon. Jerome M. Becker NAM, one of the nation's premier dispute resolution companies, is pleased to announce its affiliation with Judge Jerome M. Becker. Judge Becker's focus will be in the area of high-stakes commercial real estate, construction and finance dispute resolution.

Stated Roy Israel, CEO of NAM, “Judge Becker brings to NAM a unique background that offers litigants a wealth of experience in real estate and finance-related dispute resolution. In this important and fast-growing segment of our business, offering relevant ADR solutions to benefit disputants is core to our corporate goals.

In light of the magnitude and complexity of cases of this nature, it is critically important to offer litigants the services of an individual with exceptional subject-matter expertise. We believe Judge Becker is uniquely qualified to resolve cases of this type and we are extremely pleased to have his services available to our clients.”

Judge Becker was a former Chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency ("HFA") and of other financing authorities from 1996 through 2006. The mission of HFA was to preserve existing housing and create mechanisms for the production of new units. With the proceeds of taxable and tax-exempt bonds and low income tax credits, the HFA provided financing for its many programs, including the highly successful 80/20 program. Under that program, the landscape of New York City was virtually changed by the construction of many new apartment towers as a result of developers receiving low-cost financing from the sale of tax-exempt bonds in return for setting aside at least 20% of the apartments for low-income families.

During the decade when Judge Becker served as Chairman of HFA, billions of dollars worth of bonds were issued, leading to the construction of thousands of apartment units for New Yorkers.

To determine an applicant's candidacy for funding, the HFA considered the experience and financial worth of the developer together with land and construction costs. Such costs were essential in analyzing debt service. Judge Becker's keen understanding of development costs and financing and his experience as an attorney in real estate matters for over three decades led to his appointment by the New York State Supreme Court, on numerous occasions, as a Mediator in complex commercial disputes.

Among the matters assigned to him by the Supreme Court are the following:

  • A case involving the design, manufacture and installation of steel for an addition to a museum. This required knowledge of AIA contracts, the interpretation of working drawings, architectural designs, plans, specifications and change orders. The main issue in the case was the alleged cost overruns due to changes in the design and the manufacture of fixtures necessary to support the steel.
  • A case involving the renovation of a major medical teaching facility, where the issue was the alleged cost overruns caused by alleged construction defects.
  • A case involving alleged construction defects in a condominium tower that included alleged defective dry walls, alleged warped floors and an alleged inadequate central air conditioning system. Moreover, the environmental health of the building was raised, since the swimming pool was built virtually in the middle of the building, which impacted upon the internal climate of the structure. The intellectual source of the dispute arose out of conflicting interpretations of representations contained in the Public Offering Statement, which led to the Board's lawsuit against the Sponsors.
  • A case involving alleged construction defects in a 100-year-old condominium that covered one square city block. The issues were: 1) An alleged defective air-conditioning system caused by an alleged inadequate power plant, compounded by the installation of allegedly inadequate ducts and 2) an alleged defective foundation caused by leaks from rain run-off water and underground streams. The intellectual source of the dispute arose out of conflicting interpretations of representations contained in the Public Offering Statement, which led to the Board's lawsuit against the Sponsors.
  • A case involving alleged construction defects and cost overruns in four new residential towers owned by the same partnership and built by the same general contractor.
  • A case involving the construction of several steel staircases in a modernized NYC subway station, where it was claimed by the operating authority that the steps were improperly installed.
  • A case involving the conversion of a several-story office building into a major performing arts school, where the issues involved the design of a façade and alleged cost overruns.
  • A case involving the wiring of an office building by an electrical sub-contractor, which the general contractor claimed was defective and not up to code.
  • A case involving the modernization of a major retail space on Madison Avenue, where the tenant claimed construction defects and cost overruns due to the landlord's general contractor.
  • A prevailing wage case involving the alleged underpayment of compensation paid to workmen for services rendered at four separate NYC public schools.
  • A fee dispute over the charges for broadcasting satellite signals.
  • A class action suit by subscribers against a utility for alleged damages suffered by the subscribers due to alleged false representations by the utility regarding the speed of internet connections.

Approximately 80% of all cases mediated resulted in settlement.

Governmental Positions
Chairman - New York State Housing Finance Agency (Former)
Chairman - New York State Affordable Housing Agency (Former)
Chairman - New York State Municipal Bond Bank Agency (Former)
Chairman - Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation (Former)
Chairman - New York State Project Finance Agency (Former)
Vice Chairman - State of New York Mortgage Agency (Former)
Director - New York State Mortgage Loan Enforcement and Administration Corporation (Former)
Director - New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation (Former)
Director - Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation (Former)
Commissioner - New York State Athletic Commission (Former)
Chief Inspector - New York State Athletic Commission (Former)
Inspector - New York State Athletic Commission (Former)
Chair/Commissioner - New York City Local Conditional Release Commission (Former)
Judicial Hearing Officer - New York City Criminal Court (Former)
Acting Criminal Court Judge - New York City Criminal Court - (Former)
Judge - Family Court of the State of New York - (Former)
Chair - New York City Youth Board - (Former)
Chair - Mayor's Task Force on Community Schools - (Former)
Co-Chair - Mayor's Task Force on Youth Services - (Former)
Member - Mayor's Advisory Committee on Poverty - (Former)
Member - New York City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (Executive Committee) - (Former)
Member - Mayor's Commission on Youth and Physical Fitness - (Former)
Member - New York City Manpower Planning Council - (Former)
Member - Task Force of Standards and Goals for criminal justice planning of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services - (Former)
Commissioner - New York City Human Rights Commission - (Former)
Member - New York City Board of Correction - (Former)
Assistant Commissioner - New York City Department of Public Events - (Former)
Counsel - Mayor's Committee on Real Estate Development - (Former)
Member - Mayor's Advisory Council on Adoptions - (Former)
Member - Consumer Council - New York City Department of Consumer Affairs - (Former)

Court Appointed Positions
Special Disciplinary Referee - Appellate Division, First and Second Departments (Present)
Special Master - Supreme Court of the State of New York (Present)
Mediator- Supreme Court of the State of New York (Present)
Member - Appellate Division, Second Department; Subcommittee on Re-admission to the Bar (Former)
Referee - Supreme Court of the State of New York (Former)
Special District Attorney of Kings County (Former)
Receiver - Supreme Court of the State of New York (Former)

ABOUT NAM
Headquartered in Garden City, New York, National Arbitration and Mediation, Inc. (NAM) is one of the nation's leading dispute resolution institutions, offering cost-effective alternatives to expensive and often time-consuming litigation. Founded in 1992, NAM has a nationwide panel of nearly 2,500 top-tier former judges and practicing specialists uniquely qualified to resolve legal matters in a private forum.

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