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Hal Gessner is a certified mediator and conflict coach. His areas of expertise encompase commercial matters including Media and Entertainment, as well as interpersonal disputes such as Family, Eldercare, Marital Mediation, Wills and Estates,  and Guardianship.

As a Conflict Coach, Hal’s clients range from university professors, business owners, managers, and employees to neighbors, family members and those in challenging relationships. For more information about Conflict Coaching please click the link on the home page.

Hal is also an arbitrator for the Brooklyn Bar Association in attorney / client fee disputes.

In 2019, Hal was named to the board of the New York Peace Institute where he mediates community, housing, surrogate, co-parenting, civil and criminal court cases. In addition, he coaches NYPD officers in conflict de-escalation techniques and mentors apprentices in the New York Peace Institute’s advanced training programs.

Before becoming a certified mediator, Hal worked for 35 years in the network news and entertainment business as producer and executive producer for CBS and ABC. He is the recipient of four national Emmys, a Peabody Award, an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

For more information about Hal’s career in media, click here.

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial
  • Community
  • Conflict Coaching
  • Eldercare
  • Family Mediation
  • Marital Mediation
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Wills and Estates

Professional Affiliations

  • American Arbitration Association
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Brooklyn Bar Association
  • The Center for Family Reconciliation
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)
  • Mediation.org
  • National Association For Community Mediators (NAFCM)
  • New York Peace Institute
  • Directors Guild of America

Mediation Certifications and Training

  • American Arbitration Association
  • Cornell University ILR School, Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution
  • The Center for Mediation and Training
  • Conflict Coaching Matters, Tricia Jones
  • Elder Decisions, Adult Family Mediation
  • Neumann Mediation Services
  • NY State Bar Association Commercial Mediation
  • The New York Peace Institute
  • Youth Involved Mediation

My Philosophy

In our lives, few things cause more distress than serious conflict. If we don’t find a solution to that conflict, we become its captive.

When mediation begins, the parties sit across the table from each other. Physically, they are within arm’s length.  Emotionally, they are worlds apart. Whether the dispute involves divorce, employment, or business issues, I observe a wide spectrum of feelings: outrage, insult, misunderstanding, denial, betrayal, revenge. In these disputes, each side naturally feels that they are right and the other is wrong. However, mediation is not about ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ but rather finding solutions which allow both parties to benefit.

The renowned existential philosopher, R.D. Laing, once said, “The easiest way out of the room is through the door. It’s amazing more people don’t use it.” My job is to help people find options– options that will open the doors to resolve their conflict.

Mediation is a process of give and take, and finding the right balance is hard work. But for those who are willing to sit down and mediate, a world of possibilities opens up and resolution is achieved.

For an illustration about how Hal’s philosophy works in action, go to the Articles page and read Worlds Apart.


FOR A FREE CONSULTATION CONTACT: Hal Gessner | hgessner@gessnermediation.com | (917) 453-5712