Michael Chambers is a member of the AAA commercial, large complex case, employment and international panels. He has often served as a trainer at AAA training programs and previously co-chaired several national panels of arbitrators created in class action settlements. Licensed to practice law in New York, Washington, D.C., and Alabama, he is of counsel to the Alabama-based firm of Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal LLP. He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Alabama and a doctorate from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. He has been certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
A preliminary hearing is a required first step in most arbitrations to ensure that the process is orderly and efficient. This hearing, however, is not enough to ensure a timely arbitration that will meet the goal of holding the final hearing within one year of the filing of the demand. This article provides insights and tips on critical issues that help meet this goal: hands-on management by the arbitrator, a comprehensive scheduling order, and a pre-hearing conference one week before the final hearing to resolve any remaining problems. Although this article is written for arbitrators, it should hold as much interest for attorneys and parties in the process.