Edna Sussman, a full-time arbitrator and mediator of domestic and international commercial disputes, is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Board of Directors, and serves as an arbitrator and mediator on the AAA and ICDR commercial, Large, Complex Case, and energy panels. She is also the Distinguished ADR Practitioner in Residence at Fordham Law School, and she chairs the Arbitration Committees of the ABA Section of International Law and the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. Additional information about the author is available at www.SussmanADR.com.
Victoria A. Kummer is a partner in the Business Litigation group at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, where she litigates commercial disputes in arbitral proceedings and courts around the country. She serves on the AAA commercial panel, and as a mediator in the Mediation Program of the Southern District of New York. Ms. Kummer is also an adjunct professor of law at Cardozo School of Law.
A review of some of the crucial issues that should be considered in order to draft an effective arbitration clause.
The arbitration clause is often thrown into the contract at the last minute as the parties toast the conclusion of their negotiations. Usually little more than an afterthought, it deserves considerably more attention from the careful lawyer. Because the arbitration clause can become highly significant down the road if the parties’ relationship deteriorates, arbitration practitioners have recognized that the clause should be shaped in a thoughtful and careful way to the transaction and the parties’ needs for an economical and efficient dispute resolution process. The opportunity to do this is before the heat of battle. It is during the drafting of the contract.