Our experienced neutrals are prepared
to design the arbitration that fits your needs.
- “Traditional” arbitration. Proceedings can be tailored by agreement of the parties to limit discovery, by time and/or number of depositions or interrogatories permitted, to limit the number of witnesses who may testify or the time permitted each side for witness examination, and to eliminate testimony altogether and submit the case on documentary evidence. The parties can decide whether the case requires a “reasoned” award or whether a “one-liner” will suffice.
- “High-Low” agreements. Using a side-agreement negotiated in advance, counsel can limit the upper and lower range of the arbitration award. This technique insures that the defendant’s exposure will be no more than an agreed ceiling of “X,” and the plaintiff is guaranteed a minimum of “Y” even if the arbitrator’s award is zero. If the arbitrator’s award falls between X and Y, the defendant will pay the plaintiff the exact amount of the award.
- Early neutral evaluation. In the presence of the parties, counsel for both sides present the core elements of the dispute to a neutral evaluator whose assessment is sought on the strengths and weaknesses of the case. This process can provide a “reality check” for parties and their attorneys and can identify and define the primary issues in the dispute.
- Neutral fact-finding. The neutral is hired to serve as an investigator and make a report to the attorneys. Often used where complaints of sexual harassment or financial improprieties are alleged.
- Adjudication of law points. The neutral is asked to rule on a point of law that is an important element of the dispute. The ruling may be preliminary or binding.
- Arb-Med (sealed award). On occasion, a neutral may be asked to make an interim award on a disputed issue, for example, discovery. Based on the neutral’s familiarity with the facts of the case, the parties may agree to have the neutral write an award that would resolve the entire case. The award resolving the entire case is then sealed while the neutral attempts to resolve the dispute through mediation, or a separate mediator is hired to do so. The parties agree that if the mediation is successful, the neutral’s sealed award is destroyed, but if the case fails to settle in mediation, the neutral’s award will be entered.
- Mini-Trial. Neither “mini” nor really a “trial,” this hybrid process is designed to resolve costly commercial cases where the highest corporate officers have not been actively involved in the litigation. The process contemplates that the company lawyers will argue their best case before the neutral and the CEOs. Then the CEOs negotiate privately based on what they have heard. If the CEO negotiations are unsuccessful, the neutral will attempt to facilitate a mediated settlement and, failing that, will offer a non-binding advisory opinion that may impel the CEOs to settle. Success turns on the perceived value of the neutral’s opinion in the field, as well as the neutral’s arbitration and mediation skills.