May It Please The Court

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May It Please The Court
by Leonard Rivkin
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Quote of the Day - Results are what you expect, and consequences are what you get, a.k.a. Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. - Author unknown
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Should We Expect Bias In Arbitrators?

You probably aren't thinking about the arbitration provisions in your various contracts right now. But others are. In more ways than you probably care to know.

Here's the quickie rundown, though, just in case you're dying to know. Or not dying, as is more likely the case.

Just before Halloween, the Ninth Circuit decided Fidelity Federal Bank v. Durga Ma Corp. I know, that citation means nothing to you.

This may help: if your arbitration agreement says that each side in the dispute gets to pick one arbitrator and then those two arbitrators pick a third, don't be surprised if the arbitrator picked by each side is biased.

In fact, if you don't object or require disclosure by the other side's arbitrator, you can't set aside the arbitration award if you later discover such bias.

There's a shocker.

That makes perfect sense to me. If I get the chance to pick an arbitrator, I'm going to pick one I know. If the guy on the other side can't figure that one out ....

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, November 01, 2004 at 16:19 Comments (0)


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