Jay H Isenberg AIA has over 20 years of experience as a practicing architect most of them as principal of his own firm. His general practice includes experience in most project types, both residential (40%) and commercial (60%) with budgets over $6 million. Clients encompass the private and public sectors, including commercial, medical, residential, governmental (Department of Transportation and Department of Military Affairs), institutional, religious and non-profit groups. He has experience in all phases of architectural practice from marketing and contracts through the design, construction documents, project management and contract administration phases of most project delivery methods. He is particularly qualified and suited for handling design build residential project disputes.


Mediation provides a last opportunity for self-determination of the outcome by the parties themselves, as well as the possibility for negotiating creative solutions unavailable through arbitration or litigation. The mediator’s task is to help navigate the parties through this process by any number of means including facilitation and evaluation/assessment based on the mediator’s industry specific knowledge and professional expertise and judgment. A mediator must always listen for opportunity, be patient and steady, yet tenacious in a commitment to stay with the process through all its expected hurdles, and when appropriate use humor to remind everyone of their humanity. A steady stream of tough questions during private caucus can be expected. Construction projects usually begin as a honeymoon in “good faith and fair dealing” but somewhere along the line trust and communication and the ability to negotiate with the other party has broken down. Mediation is a time to consider and focus on what is now reasonable rather than only on what is “right” in the minds of each party. The pre-mediation period is critical in preparing the parties and their advocates for what is expected. Attorneys must be prepared and have their clients prepared to negotiate, otherwise there is little chance to succeed. A mediator must be prepared by requesting and reading thoroughly material sent to them about the case. I recommend a private confidential telephone conversation with each party prior to the session to help prepare the groundwork for the session, gauge the possibility of success, manage expectations and establish a rapport before we meet in session. There is no reason to waste valuable time and money on fishing expeditions by either party. Of course, the confidential and voluntary nature of mediation must be respected at all times.

Current Position:

ADR Experience/Expertise:
Mr. Isenberg has experience as an arbitrator, serving both as a sole arbitrator and on numerous occasions as a panel arbitration member and as a mediator since 1994 on dozens of cases ranging from small single issue situations to large complex multi party cases involving million dollar claims and counterclaims Parties involved have ranged from single family residential owners, designers and contractors to city officials, corporate executives, insurance companies, consultants, contractors and subcontractors. Representative issues that have come before him include:

Mr. Isenberg has also mediated the dissolution of two architecture firms, facilitated workshops whose theme was cooperative working arrangements among architects and consulting engineers, has participated in Partnering sessions with the DOT, attended partnering and dispute review board training workshops, and assisted construction attorneys in the development of 2D and 3D computer trial exhibits and interactive exhibits, models and drawings.


Leadership/Public Service/Entrepreneurship: