Disputing would like to bring to your attention a useful article written by Houston-based International Arbitrator and Distinguished Neutral Gary McGowan entitled, 12 Ways to Achieve Efficiency and Speed in Arbitration, Corporate Counsel (April 12, 2013). In the article, Gary addresses the increasing concern that arbitration has become too lengthy and costly by offering 12 valuable suggestions for corporate counsel to utilize in order to rein in the process. Those suggestions include engaging in careful planning by tailoring each arbitration clause to the particular situation, defining the scope of matters that are subject to arbitration in an unambiguous manner, limiting or disallowing dispositive motions, providing for a streamlined arbitrator selection process, carefully considering whether to utilize an arbitral panel or single arbitrator, and performing thorough due diligence to ensure the right arbitrator is selected for your dispute. In addition, he suggests imposing reasonable discovery limits, setting deadlines, limiting the number of arbitral hearing days, and allowing the arbitrator or panel to award sanctions for unnecessary delay. Gary also advises corporate and other attorneys to consider whether to agree to an arbitral proceeding that is administered by a third party such as the American Arbitration Association. Finally, he states corporate counsel should ensure that the overall arbitration process does not get out of hand by speaking up and carefully monitoring the situation. By following Gary’s valuable advice, lawyers can help ensure the arbitration process does not unnecessarily morph into a costly and time consuming “evil twin” to litigation.
Do you have any additional suggestions for increasing the effectiveness of the arbitration process? We would love to hear your thoughts.