Efficiency in Arbitration


The arbitrator as project manager.

Here are two options to consider in order to encourage efficient arbitration. While neither is conventional, "conventional" should be revisited often to avoid going stale.


Final Offer Arbitration (or Baseball Arbitration) is a process by which parties submit final award proposal 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 much further. For details on the history of Final Offer Arbitration, along with best practice recommendations for parties and arbitrators to consider, see the article that I co-authored with Edna Sussman for Alternatives, the CPR Institute newsletter. In the article, we outline how this process developed and has been studied over the past fifty years, and the impact that it often has on creating opportunities for settlement, well before an award is penned. More details here.


Another way to drive efficiency in the arbitral process is by incorporating the project management techniques. Adapting project management paradigms to the arbitration process can assist in monitoring for arbitration red flags, while also developing solutions for those problems before they spiral. While the use of project management is perhaps more popularly associated with construction IT, manufacturing or other projects, the opportunity to leverage these techniques for arbitration is there. More details in my article for Corporate Disputes Magazine, here.