Time and Cost Solutions for Commercial Arbitration - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 66, No. 1
Edna Sussman is a full-time independent arbitrator and mediator specializing in international and domestic business disputes. She is the principal of SussmanADR LLC and the Distinguished ADR Practitioner in Residence at Fordham University Law School. She serves on the American Arbitration Association’s arbitration, mediation and ICDR panels and the AAA Board of Directors. For further information, see her Web site at www.sussmanADR.com.
Christi L. Underwood, a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Board of Directors, serves on the AAA’s commercial, construction, large complex case and ICDR panels. She is a Fellow of two professional associations: the College of Commer cial Arbitrators and the American College of Construction Lawyers. In her home state of Florida, she is a Florida Bar Board-Certified Construction Attorney. For additional information, see her Web site at www.clu-law.com.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
“Cost is a fundamental concern of businesses. As cost concerns are often not addressed with vigor in arbitration, it is not surprising that many business users have chosen to use courts instead,” said Michael McIlwrath, senior counsel for litigation at GE Oil & Gas. Cost and delay are key issues facing arbitration providers and arbitrators in the 21st Century."
Users of commercial arbitration are frustrated because their expectations for an efficient, lowcost process are often not being realized. The issue has been tackled to some degree by some international arbitration providers, including the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR, the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) international division),1 and by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).2 More recently, William K. Slate, president and CEO of the AAA, gave a talk on this problem at the 2010 AAA Neutrals’ Conference in Florida, emphasizing that the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) industry must solve the problem through action.3 Fortunately, the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA), a group of some of the most experienced and respected commercial arbitrators in this country, has already identified solutions. The CCA has developed practical steps that every stakeholder in the arbitration process can take to reduce the cost of the process and accelerate the proceeding. These steps are incorporated into four protocols, one for users and their in-house counsel, one for outside counsel, one for arbitrators and one for arbitration institutions.