My Background and Approach May Inform Your Decision
I am writing this because my awards are usually under sets of rules making them confidential, and parties who might be interested in using me are entitled to know how I handle my arbitrations.
Arbitration is not a jungle in which anything goes. It is a method of resolving conflicts and disputes as justly as in court, but more quickly, efficiently, cheaply, and finally, than litigation in court.
Compared to court litigation, arbitrations are much more geared to achieving a just and final result with dispatch, while in my experience court litigation is more focused on process. The average Federal judge has more cases dumped on him or her per year than there are days in a year, and has no choice about which cases to take. Some judges hate some types of cases. Like other arbitrators, I choose whether to reject a case, and I like the types of cases I handle.
I bring to the table more than 48 years of experience litigating in State and Federal courts across the country, both individual cases and class and collective actions, large cases and small but tending towards the complex, trials and appeals. I have handled a case with both a nationwide plaintiff class I and others represented, and a nationwide defendant class of federal agencies (with the EEOC as the defense class representative). I have tried cases in numerous States.
I have also served as a mediator or arbitrator for more than 15 years, and have most recently spoken on an AAA webinar: Navigating the Discovery and Evidence Roadmap in Arbitration. I speak regularly at ALI-CLE programs on arbitration.
As a former Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section, as a frequent speaker on ABA, ALI-ABA, ALI-CLE, various Bar programs, and other private lawyers’ association meetings across the country, and having collaborated on numerous ABA publications and co-authored fifteen editions of Equal Employment Opportunity Law Update, copyright © American Bar Association 1996-2007 (Bloomberg BNA, 1996-2007), I know a lot of lawyers across the country and abroad, have literally hundreds of friends on each side, and regularly discuss the perspectives of each side. Both plaintiffs’ and defense lawyers have asked me for advice on handling difficult situations in their cases.
I know a fair amount about the law, evidence, and the weighing of evidence. Parties do not need to spend a lot of time educating me. That said, I am always interested in parties teaching me new things, or to see things differently.
I know how to move a hearing along, while protecting each side’s right to be heard.
I deal collegially with counsel as long as they are professional and reasonable. I can get cases back on track if one or both parties ignores deadlines or ignores discovery. I do award sanctions where necessary, but only enough to get the case moving again.