Joan Stearns Johnsen, JSJ Mediations
Joan is particularly skilled at highly emotional disputes. Joan has over twenty-five years of experience and a track record of consistently excellent results.  
JSJ Mediate


Joan has concentrated her practice in the area of ADR for over twenty years. She has extensive experience as both an arbitrator and a mediator.  In addition to her experience serving as a neutral, Joan is a teacher of arbitration and mediation skills and theory.  She is a former member of the faculty at Albany Law School where she taught the Securities Arbitration Clinic, ADR and Negotiation and is a trainer of negotiation, mediation and arbitration skills including the related ethical issues. Among the entities for whom she has held trainings are:  the Bar of the City of New York, Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney; Merrill Lynch, Bressler Amery and Ross, Burns and Levinson, and Wells Fargo. Before becoming a neutral, Joan was an Enforcement Attorney for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, D.C., and in-house counsel for Smith Barney and the Commodity Exchange, Inc. in New York.  She also is a former member of JAMS panel of neutrals in New York and in Boston.

Joan possesses extensive subject matter expertise in a variety of areas.  She is particularly well known for her knowledge of securities, employment, and general commercial matters.  Joan is a highly skilled mediator.  She is often selected for her talent managing cases of high emotional content.  In addition to her proficiency with in-person mediations, Joan is a leader in the field of telephonic mediation-- a very popular and economical option.

Joan is well known throughout the ADR Community. Since 2010 she has co-chaired the ABA's Dispute Resolution Section's Teleconference Program which presents bi-monthly CLE's on various topics in mediation, arbitration and negotiation.  She is on the Executive Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution with responsibility for continuing legal education and on the New York State Community Dispute Resolution Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee. In 2011 and 2012, she was a member of New York State's Division of Human Rights Committee on Mediation Expansion.

Joan is a member of the following mediation and/or arbitration panels: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA/NASD);  American Arbitration Association (AAA); The International Institute for Conflict Resolution and Prevention (CPR); Resolute Systems; National Futures Association (NFA): The New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division; and The Federal District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts. 


  • Deal Resolution:  The Facilitated Negotiation of Transactions, 30 Windsor Rev. Legal & Soc. Issues 193 (March, 2011)          
  • (Reprint) Telephonic Mediation:  An Overview, Overview, 1899 PLI/Corp 195 (August 2011).
  • Telephonic Mediation:  An Overview, The Neutral Corner, Vol. 3 FINRA (2011).
  • Preparation:  Getting There is More Than Half the Fun, ABA Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Alternative Dispute Resolution Advanced Mediation and Skills Seminar (Oct. 2009).
  • Making the Mediation Fair for All:  What Should the Parties Expect From Their Mediator, 1755 PLI/Corp 45 (August 2009)
  • Mediation Advocacy:  How to Win the Heart and Mind of Your Mediator:  Preferring a SlowYes to a Quick No, 1615 PLI/Corp. 11 (August 2007).
  • Telephonic Mediation, ABA Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR in Bloom (April 2007).
  • Deal Mediation: A New Use for An Old Friend, International Mediation Institute,
  • The Dreaded Mediation Impasse:  Possible Ways of Avoiding It, 11 SUM PIABA B.J. 66 (2004).
  • Telephonic Mediation:  What, Who, When and Why, 11 Securities Arbitration Commentator 1 (Jan. 2000).
  • Mediator Friend or Foe, SF 16 ALI-ABA 415 (2000).
  • Mediator Friend or Foe, Using the Mediator to Your Best Advantage, ABA Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Alternative Dispute Resolution: How To Use It To Your Advantage (Oct. 2000).
  • Ten Things Your Arbitrator Would Love To Tell You, But Can’t, 1131 PLI/CORP 573 (August, 1999).
  • Securities Mediation: Point/Counterpoint, Reply to David Robbins Article, 9 Securities Arbitration Commentator 1 (Nov., 1997).


  • Presenter of Courses accredited in New York State. Negotiation Skills and Theory, and The Seven Deadly Sins of Mediation Advocacy, 2009- present. Among those to whom course presented are: UBS, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Burns and Levinson, Wells Fargo, and Bressler, Amery & Ross
  • Speaker, Brazil Mediation Congress, The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2014).
  • Program Chair and Moderator, Symposium on Collaborative Decision Making, Civil Discourse, and Negotiated Rulemaking in State and Local Government, Panel Prof. John Nolon, The Hon. Bruce Meyerson, Don Ruzow, Prof. Philip Harter, Dean Patricia Salkin, Sponsored by Albany Law School and the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, November 2011.
  • Speaker, Public Investor’s Arbitration Bar Association, Legal Issues in Mediation, Annual Meeting, Law Day, October 2011.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, What Clients Expect of Mediators, Panel Deborah Masucci, Phillip Armstrong, Suzanne Mann Duvall, ABA, Section of Dispute Resolution, October 2011.
  • Sole Presenter, Deal Mediation, ACR-GNY, New York, New York, June 2011.
  • Sole Presenter, Four Hour Negotiation Skills Seminar, Bar of the City of New York, July 2011.
  • Sole Presenter, The Seven Deadly Sins of Mediation Advocacy, Bar of the City of New York, June, 2010, Web-cast by Westlaw.
  • Faculty, New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2011 to present.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, The Future of Mandatory Arbitration: A Conversation About Dodd-Frank and The Arbitration Fairness Act.
  • Program Chair and Moderator, Point/Counterpoint Caucusing in Mediation, Panel David Hoffman and Prof. Robert Mnookin, ABA Teleconference 2010
  • Program Chair and Moderator, The Brains Behind the Deals, Speaker Richard Birke, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Teleconference, February 2010
  • Program Chair and Moderator, Settlement Counsel, Bar of the City of New York, November, 2010
  • Program Chair and Moderator, Closing the Deal in Mediation, Bar of the City of New York, December, 2010.
  • Guest Lecturer on Mediation for the Securities Clinic at St. John’s Law School, and Baruch Graduate School of Business, New York, NY, 2007 to 2010
  • Faculty, American Bar Association, Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute, October, 2009
  • Speaker, Mediation in the Context of International Art Law, American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting, New York, New York, April, 2009
  • Faculty, Licensing Executive Society, Negotiation Skills, 2009
  • Speaker, Deal Mediation, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, New York, NY, January, 2009
  • Speaker, Deal Mediation, Counselors of Real Estate Annual Meeting, Boston, October 2008
  • Speaker, Deal Mediation, ACR and AAA Conference for Commercial Mediators, September, 2008
  • Program Chair and Moderator, Deal Mediation, ABA Telephonic Web-cast, February, 2008
  • Program Chair and Moderator, Settlement Counsel, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, April, 2008
  • Speaker, Deal Mediation, Union International des Avocats, Paris, France, October 2007
  • Mediation, State Bar of New York, September 2007
  • Program Chair and Moderator, Telephonic Mediation, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., April, 2007
  • Speaker, Mediation in Securities Employment Matters, National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”), June 2002
  • Panelist, Gender Differences in Negotiation, Women's Bar of New York,  2000
  • Panelist, Gender Differences in Negotiation, Women's Bar of Boston, 2000
  • Role-play coach for the NASD/Bankruptcy Court Training in New York, JAMS in Boston and New York, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, 1998-2002
  • Co-Trainer of Mediation Skills for the NASD /U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York and Phoenix (1997, 1998.)


  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio, Order of Barristers
  • B.A., Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, B.A. French Literature and Language


  • Admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia (inactive)


  Proficient in French, knowledge of German