Richard C. Levin
4408 St Johns
Dallas, TX 75205
My philosophy is that the parties have bargained for a more streamlined procedure to resolve the dispute, with the hope that the arbitrator brings some expertise, and the process is less expensive and quicker. I try to live up to these expectations.
Partner, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; Associate Sullivan & Cromwell; Judicial Clerk for the Hon John C Godbold, US Court of Appeals, Fifth Judicial Circuit.
What are the best ways to achieve efficiency in arbitration consistent with fairness to all parties?
Arbitration is a flexible process and is perfectly capable of being adapted to an efficient mechanism to arrive at or come as close as possible to a form of truth or justice. It is well suited for the complex as well as the simple dispute. Innovative methods of eliciting expert testimony (example witness conferencing), written direct testimony, page limits on submissions, flexible evidence admission protocols, are just a few of the tools an arbitrator can employ to advance the efficient process.
Do you believe that Arbitrators have the right or an obligation to conduct their own legal research?
Yes, while the amount of research should be “within reason”, it simply is very difficult to give a satisfactory award without some independent corroboration of the research received from the parties. Also, in some areas of public policy, I believe the arbitrator must satisfy him/herself that no public order is breached irrespective of what the parties submit.
Do you believe that there is a role in arbitration for dispositive motions?
I do agree there is a role for dispositive motions in arbitration. I have written about this over a decade ago. The primary reason is that arbitration is a process to expedite the resolution of a dispute and be less expensive; if claims or defenses can be pared down in advance of the hearing, then dispositive motions are very consistent with the process. That said, arbitrators must be vigilant to allow parties to present their case and be heard to the fullest extent.
ICC, AAA, ICDR, LCIA, HKIAC, VIAC, WIPO and other institutions; see www.richardlevinarbitration.com.
Several recent engagements as arbitrator include: Sole arbitrator in complex ICDR/AAA (Large, Complex Commercial Procedures) case involving multiple technology and purchase agreements for an entertainment concept of worldwide dimension. Case involves claims under several antitrust and competition regimes (Texas, US, and foreign) as well as intellectual property and contract interpretation issues. Partial Award Issued. Sole arbitrator in AAA case involving significant account issues between motion picture distributor and production company. Member of three person tribunal involving intellectual property dispute and the ownership of certain IP rights; Sole arbitrator (ICDR) in a large dispute between major law firm and foreign client involving intellectual property issues (award issued); member of three person tribunal in ICDR case involving a contractual dispute in offshore drilling, pending; member of three person tribunal in case alleging breach of auto dealer agreements in failure to provide computer upgrades (case settled); sole arbitrator in ICDR arbitration involving competition and intellectual property issues in livestock and animal nutrition products (award issued).
As counsel: Counsel for respondents in several UNCITRAL arbitrations over failed joint ventures in Mexico; counsel for claimant in UNCITRAL investment dispute over hotel property in Ukraine; counsel for claimant in ICC case relating to drug license agreement; counsel for respondent in ICC case involving breach of license agreement for off road vehicles; counsel for respondent in ICC construction case over failed joint venture in Argentina; co-counsel for claimant in ICC dispute involving accounting issues and stock purchase agreement; counsel for respondents in threatened Chapter 11 NAFTA dispute. Case brought only against federal government of Mexico. Also, related to multi-jurisdictional disputes, lead coordinating counsel for cases in Europe and the US involving an estate and business entities brought by the heir seeking ‘forced heirship’ under French law, including allegations of ownership relating to a villa in the South of France and allegations relating to an historical donation of art to an international museum (pending).
Fellow and Chartered Arbitrator, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb and C Arb); Member Court of Arbitration for Art in the Netherlands; member ICCA, IAI, Tech List, SVAMC. See www.richardlevinarbitration.com.
Various posts on the Kluwer Arbitration Blog relating to various subjects, including competition law; EU and U.S. Antitrust Arbitration, A Handbook for Practitioners,” (G. Blanke and P. Landolt, ed), Ch. 39: U.S. Enforcement Issues and U.S. Antitrust Law (W. Kluwer, 2011); “Certain Procedural Issues in Arbitrating Competition Cases,” Journal of International Arbitration with Liebscher, Kurkela, and Somer, Vol. 24, No. 2 (April, 2007); “International Arbitration of Antitrust Claims,” Richard C. Levin and Gregory Laird, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Vol. II, No. 5, May 2003; “NAFTA Chapter 11: Investment and Investment Disputes,” Richard C. Levin and Susan Erickson Marin, 2 NAFTA L & Bus. Rev. Am. 82 (Summer 1996); July 1990, State Bar of Texas/International Law Section Newsletter: “International Chamber of Commerce Commercial Arbitration—An Overview” (Article); June 1979, State Bar of Texas/Antitrust Journal: “Shopping Centers and The Rule of Reason” (Article); “Structural Reciprocity: A New Approach to Conglomerates,” 58 Geo. L.J. 609 (1969–1970).