by Jeremy Lack, Deborah Masucci and Merril Hirsh
Based on initial feedback from the Global Pound Conference, a Mixed Modes Task Force has been set up by the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA), the International Mediation Institute (IMI) and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law to examine possible new ways of combining mediation with arbitration. (For more information, please see: http://www.imimediation.org/about-imi/who-are-imi/mixed-mode-task-force/#about).
One of the six working groups in this taskforce is looking into interactions between mediators and arbitrators. This is an area that obviously raises many concerns, as the point is not to compromise any arbitration proceedings, but the group wishes to explore what may be possible or advisable. In order to help this working group with its task, we are seeking any information and/or feedback regarding such occurrences.
Specifically, the working group would like your answers to the following questions:
1. Can you provide us with feedback on any cases you have heard of where adjudicative neutrals (i.e., judges or arbitrators) interacted with non-adjudicative neutrals (e.g., mediators or conciliators)?
2. If so, what were the main issues the neutrals faced in working together?
3. How did it work out?
There are not many forums of ADR neutrals familiar with both mediation and arbitration, and the idea of possible interactions between them is not something there has been much written about. Your responses would be greatly valued and appreciated.