Arbitrators have a duty to increase the efficiency of the arbitration process.They can do this by requiring counsel and the parties to immediately focus on the real issues in the case, provide the arbitrators with information they need to organize the pre-hearing and hearing procedures around these issues, and prepare a well-conceived award. This article provides practical suggestions arbitrators can use to achieve these goals.
Construction arbitration is supposed to be efficient, economical, and result in a fair decision by experts in construction and/or construction law.1 Yet, many arbitrations fall short of achieving the first two goals. This is especially so in large, complex construction cases. Because these cases often involve large sums, the parties’ attorneys will exhaust every possible avenue to obtain an award in favor of their clients. This usually includes exploring all legal grounds that might favor the client, making pre-hearing motions (such as a motion challenging the arbitrator’s