The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law March 2010
ADR @ Moritz

Q & A with Amy Mass '95

Amy Mass '95

Amy Mass (Moritz ’95) is currently the National Counsel for the School and Human Services Program at The Hanover Insurance Group, where she previously practiced as a trial attorney, senior trial attorney, and managing attorney. Before joining The Hanover, she was in private practice and clerked for the Superior Court of New Hampshire and the Michigan Court of Appeals. Amy has been an Adjunct Professor of Dispute Resolution at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio since 2004. She is licensed to practice in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana and her litigation experience includes the defense of individuals and businesses in multiple practice areas. She took the time to respond to the following questions for The Caucus.

How did Moritz prepare you for your practice using dispute resolution?

The mediation practicum that I took with Nancy Rogers during my third year was my first introduction to the idea of mediation. It was also the only class on the topic – vastly different from the Dispute Resolution Program and Certificate that is now offered at the law school.

It was a process and a way of thinking about legal disputes that resonated with me in my early career, and I have since put it to use in many ways. During the time that I lived in New Hampshire and Michigan and was clerking for the respective courts, I was not able to engage in the practice of law, but I did have time to get involved in community mediation programs as a mediator. The experience was, in many ways, very similar to what I had done in law school, but it gave me a chance to start "spreading my wings" as a young lawyer.

How have you used dispute resolution skills in your career as an attorney?

When I moved into private practice and began defending clients in all kinds of litigation, I was immediately involved in negotiating settlements and advocating for clients in court mediations. In addition, I volunteered to mediate in Franklin County's Settlement Week, which allowed me to gain more experience as a mediator. This, in turn, helped me develop my skill set as an advocate for clients in mediation, which was by then almost a given step in any civil case. With the growth of private mediation in Ohio and Indiana where I focus my civil practice, I now mediate almost every case, and 95% of them resolve in this manner.

Six years ago, I started teaching Dispute Resolution as an Adjunct Professor at Capital Law School. The experience of teaching law students helped me refine my skill set by refreshing some of the academic principles that are fundamental to the practice. In turn, I found it extremely valuable to incorporate my practical experience to enhance the academic concepts that I was teaching.

Are you working on anything else involving dispute resolution?

In recent years, I have presented and lectured on Dispute Resolution topics, including negotiation, mediation advocacy, communication strategies, and most recently, the impact of gender on negotiation behaviors. I will be presenting—jointly with a colleague—at the ABA Dispute Resolution Conference in San Francisco on the latter topic in April. I am also developing some "early resolution program" concepts to incorporate into my current role at THG, which I am really excited about.

Currently, Amy serves on the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys Board of Trustees and the Defense Research Institute ADR, Corporate Counsel, Women in the Courtroom and Membership Committees. She has chaired the Ohio State Bar Association Staff Counsel Committee since July 2008. Previous positions include: Chair, OACTA ADR Committee; Chair, 2008 OACTA Annual Meeting; Chair, OACTA Commercial Litigation Committee; and, Moderator, 2007 OACTA Conferences. She is a frequent lecturer for organizations including the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, and the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys. She earned her B.A., Cum Laude and With Distinction in her Major, from Connecticut College in 1992 and her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1995.

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The Caucus, the newsletter published by the Moritz Program on Dispute Resolution, is designed to share ADR news with the Moritz community and beyond, as well as provide Moritz students with information regarding externship and employment opportunities. Questions regarding this publication should be directed to Erin Archerd, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution.