Making the Arbitrator’s Job Easier - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 72, No. 4
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
This article offers suggestions to help counsel achieve cost-effective and successful arbitrations by making the arbitrator’s job easier.
These days, few civil litigators are strangers to arbitration because contractual provisions to arbitrate are common. Put simply, in arbitration the parties have contractually agreed to bring disputes before one decision maker or a panel of three private decision-makers rather than before a judge or jury.
This article describes ways counsel can make the arbitrator’s job easier to facilitate a prompt and successful result at less cost.
I. WHY FOCUS ON HELPING THE ARBITRATOR?
Why should counsel care about making life easier for the arbitrator? Because it is in counsel’s and the clients’ best interests to do so.
First, arbitration is meant to be an efficient means of dispute resolution. All too often, though, parties complain that the arbitration took as long as it would have taken to litigate the case in court. In most cases, it should not be that way. The suggestions below will help counsel achieve a prompt resolution of the client’s problem.
Second, arbitrators cost money. Arbitrators typically are paid an hourly rate. That cost is multiplied for a three-member panel. On top of that, the client must pay the attorney for time spent on the case. The suggestions discussed below help the arbitrator and counsel spend less time on the case, and thus save the client money.
Third, to paraphrase a maxim more often said about moms: “If your arbitrator ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”