Reflections of an International Arbitrator - WAMR 2013 Vol. 7, No. 1
GERALD AKSEN, is a full time arbitrator, mediator and ADR neutral. Mr. Aksen has many years of experience as counsel and arbitrator in domestic and foreign arbitrations in 20 different countries. He has arbitrated over 250 cases ranging in value from $1 million to $1 billion. Mr. Aksen serves as an arbitrator and mediator with the AAA, ICC, LCIA, NFA, JCAA, SCC and under UNCITRAL, ARIAS, BERMUDA FORM and other ad hoc rules, as well as with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York Early Neutral Evaluation Program. He also has over 30 years of experience as an adjunct professor of law at New York University School of Law, (class of 1958) teaching courses on domestic and international arbitration. He is the 2005 recipient of the prestigious ABA Dispute Resolution Section's D'Alemberte/Raven Award and is consistently ranked as one of New York’s notable international arbitrators, up to and including 2013, in Chambers Global, Chambers USA and Global Arbitration review. Mr. Aksen may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally from World Arbitration And Mediation Review (WAMR)
It is really a great pleasure for me to be back here at an organization that I used to know as the Southwestern Legal Foundation. I regret to say that I am such a fossil that I cannot even remember the name of the current organization.
Donald Donovan asked for a little historical perspective on the art of arbitrating. The title of this conference is, indeed, quite apt: international arbitration is not a science, it is an art. You picked up some of that this morning, because lawyers disagree on what is the appropriate way of conducting an international arbitration.
But if you think things are bad now, put yourself back at the time when I got out of law school in 1958. Number one, the law of the U.S. was that arbitration clauses were revocable at the will of either party. So every lawyer who drafted an international arbitration clause in an agreement was guilty of malpractice, because those clauses were unenforceable.
The art of arbitration means what? In the 1950s, you had to be very practical. There was no roll-aboard luggage in those days. Lawyers really took briefcases – very heavy briefcases – around the world carrying all those case documents. We had no computers, and we had no e-mail. I can still remember typewriters with carbon paper. Some of you may recall that.