WHAT IS ARBITRATION?
When parties litigate a dispute but ultimately fail to reach a settlement, the case must then go to trial. Trials can proceed in different ways. Some are conducted in a courthouse in which a judge or jury decides the outcome. Trials may also be conducted outside of court before a single arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators). Many arbitrations are mandated by a written contract between the parties.
The advantages of arbitration include: parties choose their arbitrator; they obtain a written decision (award); publicity is avoided; and the matter can be litigated in an expeditious manner. An agreement to binding arbitration eliminates the costs, delays and uncertainties of a jury trial and an appeal.
An arbitration that is dragged out over time defeats one of the primary benefits of arbitration: expeditious handling. I believe that an arbitrator who exercises efficient, evenhanded case management control over the proceedings (pleadings, discovery and hearing) will save the parties money and time without sacrificing the rights of anyone.
MY ROLE AS ARBITRATOR
During my 14 years as a trial judge, in addition to trying many jury trials, I tried dozens of court (nonjury) trials and authored written decisions that were concise, thorough and timely. I also managed hundreds of civil cases of all types through the pleading, discovery and trial stages. During my 11 years on the appellate court, I reviewed and decided hundreds of civil cases that presented various legal issues concerning pleadings, discovery, pretrial, trial and post-trial matters. My 25 years of judicial experience will easily transfer to the management of arbitration proceedings.
Mindful of the expense of protracted litigation, I will always endeavor to conduct the arbitration process with diligence and efficiency without sacrificing fairness.