A Practical Approach to Arbitration



Efficiency in arbitration is something that parties - and arbitrators - continually strive for. From careful clause drafting to limitations on discovery and chess clocks at hearings, the profession has created many creative options for streamlining the arbitral process.

Baseball arbitration, also known as final offer arbitration ("FOA"), is increasingly utilized by parties to achieve their goals of efficiency and economy in dispute resolution. FOA is a process by which parties submit their final award proposals to an arbitrator, and the arbitrator is obligated to issue one or the other award at the end of the process.


While we often hear of arbitration of this type used in collective bargaining or baseball player pay disputes, its application extends to real estate, mergers and acquisitions, tax, insurance and other commercial disputes.


Over the past two months, the CPR Institute published a two-part series of articles that Edna Sussman and I wrote on this topic. I took the lead on the first piece, which reviewed the history of FOA, the psychology behind how it is utilized, and where it is found in practice today. Edna's piece includes an explanation of the different types of FOA processes available along with helpful best practice recommendations parties and arbitrators alike.


Copies of the articles are available here.