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Monday, February 23, 2015

Former 3020-a Arbitrator Leona Barsky Tells the Judge She's Mentally Ill

I remember very well the 3020-a hearing that I worked on as the paralegal where Leona Barsky was the Arbitrator. Both I and the person who attended as the member of the public where astonished at Ms. Barsky's lack of respect for the process and for the private Attorney who was defending the Respondent.

We thought she was not rational.

Now New York Supreme Court Judge Ellen Gesmer thinks so as well. And Leona's ex-husband, Stephen Radin. Maybe they are all nuts.

Leona Barsky herself evidently thinks she is too mentally ill to hold a job (see article below). Did she come to this realization before, during, or after she was working as an Arbitrator on the 3020-a Panel with the Department of Education?

Betsy Combier
Leona Barsky (left) failed to soak soon-to-be ex Stephen Radin (right) for extra alimony by claiming she was
too mentally unstable to work

Judge doesn’t buy wife’s ‘mentally ill’ bid for more alimony

She’s crazy greedy.
An Ivy League-educated lawyer tried to claim she is too mentally ill to hold a job — to get her estranged husband to pay for her lavish lifestyle after their divorce, according to Manhattan court papers.
But while Leona Barsky, 56, has been supposedly so whacked out, she has blown $1.5 million of her lawyer husband’s dough on plastic surgery, extravagant vacations, jewelry, clothing and legal bills, documents show.
Barsky — who arbitrated high-profile disputes between the city Department of Education and the teachers union in 2010 — also even volunteered to talk to law students at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
A Manhattan judge didn’t buy her crazy story — and has now awarded her a relatively measly $12,000 a month in alimony after she asked for more than five times that amount.

Justice Ellen Gesmer snipped in her searing, 29-page decision that Barsky could “achieve anything [if] she puts her mind to it.”
Gesmer was miffed by Barsky’s attempt to duck a court hearing by submitting a doctor’s note claiming she was on the verge of a heart attack — when she showed up at a Knicks game that night.
The fed-up judge calculated that the Penn and Cornell University grad — who once worked for Revlon — could earn more than $300,000 a year since she’s only been out of the workforce since 2012.
Barsky’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, Stephen Radin, rakes in more than $2 million as a partner at the international corporate law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
The couple was married for almost 25 years and has two grown children.
When Radin, 55, filed for divorce against his wife in 2012, she claimed that “her mental condition prevent[ed] her from maintaining employment.”
Barsky said her psychiatrist would testify that she was “very fragile” and “seriously traumatized.”
But the judge never let the shrink take the stand to answer questions about the unnamed mental illness because the same doc had already claimed in a previous custody dispute that her patient was “a strong person” who “has never evidenced any symptoms of mental illness.”
The judge also knocked Barsky for “lying on her net-worth statement by inflating expenses by large amounts in 22 separate categories.”
Barsky still made out well in the divorce.
On top of the alimony, she’ll receive 35 percent of the family’s $12 million in assets, including a 2011 Lexus, a $3 million Upper West Side apartment and $140,000 worth of silverware, jewelry and art.
She declined to comment.
Her husband also declined to comment through his lawyer, ­Robert Cohen.

Leona Barsky


Specialties: alternative dispute resolution, arbitration and mediation, workplace investigations, employment compliance, training and audits, human resources, employment, equal employment opportunity/employment discrimination, affirmative action, labor and employee benefits law


Labor and Employment Arbitrator and Mediator, Principal Attorney and Consultant

Workplace ADR and Compliance Services
 – Present (11 years)
Labor and Employment Arbitrator and Mediator 2010 to present
Principal Attorney, Consultant and Factfinder, Workplace Investigations, Compliance and Training 
Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Martin Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, Labor Arbitrator Development Certificate Program

Cornell University

1980 B.S. 1981 M.S., industrial and labor relations

Master's thesis: "A Comparison of the Treatment of Arbitrability Questions in the Private Sector and the New York State Public Sector"

Additional Info

  • Advice for Contacting Leona