The author is a mediator, arbitrator, and lawyer in Honolulu, Hawaii. Since 1973, he has worked primarily on commercial and contract matters, construction, insurance and labor and employment disputes. Reflecting the growth of ADR, his practice has increasingly involved increased service as a mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, umpire and discovery master. Mr. Chang serves on panels of a number of ADR provider organizations, including the American Arbitration Association, Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Inc., and the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service. He also serves on the arbitration panel of the Hawaii Labor Relations Board and on the mediation panel of the federal and bankruptcy court in Hawaii. He can be reached by phone at (808) 384-2468 and by e-mail at email@example.com. His website is http://louchang.com
Arbitration of large, complex conflicts, often with multiple parties, requires good management to obtain the well-known time and cost-saving advantages of the process. This article presents a collection of ideas the author gathered from experienced arbitrators, advocates and users of arbitration that are geared to preserving those advantages and keeping arbitration informal and user-friendly.
Arbitration is used in a broad range of circumstances and it enjoys exceptionally strong support by American courts. A general goal of arbitration is to achieve fair and appropriate resolutions of disputes with efficiency and economy. Some of the most important characteristics of arbitration are
• the decision maker is selected by the parties,
• the proceedings and award are private,
• the process is less formal than litigation,
• legal rules of procedure and evidence do not apply, and
• the process can be understood without formal legal training.