Robert B. McKay is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and President of the Association oi the Bar of the City of New York. This article is based on an address delivered at Arbitration Day on May 10, 1985, in New York City.
Arbitration is one of a growing number of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. Otber devices for the resolution of disputes outside the courts are conciliation, negotiation, mediation, mini-trials, rent-a-judge programs, ombudsman arrangements, diversion from the criminal process, and otber settlement-inducing programs. Moreover, eacb of these forms of ADR has subcategories and local variations.
Even arbitration, of which we think customarily in terms of the practices facilitated by the American Arbitration Association, subdivides into a number of variations, including so-called med-arb and court-annexed arbitration. Med-arb is a process tbat begins with mediation but, if that does not succeed, then moves into binding arbitration. Court-annexed arbitration may not even be entitled to the name of arbitration, because, unlike arbitration, which is voluntary and binding, court-annexed arbitration is mandatory but not binding. Tbat is, where court-annexed arbitration bas been put in place, tbe parties to lawsuits that fall within tbe specified categories must submit to the arbitration process. If not satisfied with the determination, they may demand a trial de novo.