Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

The New Arbitration Mythology: Perception is not always reality

February 2020 Bar Bulletin

By Gregg Bertram

Arbitration and controversy seem inseparable in the legal profession. Recent litigation about arbitration has focused on the adequacy of arbitrators’ disclosure of conflicts of interest (eg. Monster Energy v. JAMS), but traditional criticisms persist that arbitration is slow, expensive and usually results in a compromised award. These complaints contend that arbitrators too often lack the courage to declare winners and losers. While there is evidence to support such cynicism, data suggests that this perception doesn’t square with reality.

A recent poll of corporate counsel conducted by the Rand Corporation found that 70% of those surveyed believed that arbitration usually resulted in...

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