When I left the bench in 2006 after sixteen years as a trial judge of the United States District Court, I recognized that arbitration is not litigation and so I took advantage of the excellent educational programs and conferences offered by the institutional providers I was associated with. I also immersed myself in the extensive literature on mediation and arbitration.
Initially, I served most of the time as a sole arbitrator. But as time went by, the amounts in controversy increased and the issues became more complex, and I found myself serving more on panels as chair or wing arbitrator. It was then that I realized that my experience as a trial judge and the educational programs I attended had not fully prepared me for the challenges unique to working with two other arbitrators, who I usually did not know very well, if at all.