I am no stranger to the arbitration process. As a trial lawyer for 28 years, I tried many cases before arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association and I was an arbitrator myself. As a trial judge, I had the opportunity to confirm or disaffirm many arbitration awards, but it was as administrative judge of Nassau County that I became acutely aware of the necessity to nourish and encourage the increased use of arbitration.
What is the relationship between arbitration and the court system of which I am a part?
We are in a highly litigious society. Never before in the history of this country have there been as many and diverse kinds of lawsuits. In addition to our usual contract and tort actions, we must now deal with class actions of every type and description, prima facie tort cases, pollution cases, sex, race, religion, and age discrimination cases, environmental cases, and a myriad of other previously uncharted causes of action, together with hybrid actions combining many elements. judge Irving Kaufman correctly wrote that there is "a virtual tidal wave of cases" that is swamping our nation's courts, both state and federal.