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Arbitrator’s Approach to Process and Decision




When arbitrating, my aim is a fair, efficient, and expedited process, and finally a just decision.  In all preliminary conferences, including hearings related to discovery or evidentiary disputes, I listen and ask questions to ensure that my ruling recognizes the parties’ interests and maintains process fairness.  I am committed to issuing all rulings and final awards as promptly as possible.  It’s generally my practice to permit dispositive motions if and when these are likely to achieve efficiencies and lower costs for the parties.


During an arbitration’s final evidentiary hearing, I maintain order and require respectful interactions between counsel, and between counsel and witnesses.  When a witness is obviously uncomfortable in the hearing, or has difficulty understanding a question, I aim to make them comfortable and provide necessary explanations.  I value thoroughly and carefully presented evidence in support of damages claims, while recognizing some damages may be less tangible or easily quantifiable and still real.  In the end, my obligation is to render a just decision, based on facts and legal principles.  Thus, my focus is on learning the answers to factual and legal questions essential for making that decision. 


I am always fully prepared, having read any written submissions carefully before the hearing and after, if applicable.  (After all, I was a law professor for 24 years.  I take reading assignments seriously!) Where the reasoning in orders on motions or final award turns on common law or statutory authority cited in written submissions, I read the full cases and statutes.  In my view, while an arbitrator is empowered and encouraged to consider “fairness,” an arbitral decision is not “just” unless legally sound.


While bound by the parties’ arbitration agreement or joint request as to form of award, I prefer to provide the factual and legal basis for my decision.  This can often be accomplished a few paragraphs or pages.  However, in substantial cases involving complex and disputed factual or legal issues, I will offer to provide a careful and thorough explanation of my findings and reasoning.


Given that arbitration is a creature of contract, I adhere to relevant contractual arbitration provision and chosen set of arbitration rules. While my arbitration practice typically involves the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules, I also have experience with the CPR Institute’s Arbitration Rules and those of my local Bar Association program.  I am on various arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, the CPR Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Program. I also comfortable conducting “self-administered” arbitrations through direct attorney referral, using selected or negotiated arbitration rules.


Select examples of cases arbitrated


  • [On a three-member panel] Case between large window manufacturer and former sales executive alleging violations of non-compete and misappropriation of trade secrets.

  • Early case in a set of mass FLSA claims. After rendering decision on central threshold legal and discovery issues, the parties reached settlement.


  • Case involving alleged business fraud and breach of contract between sizeable bio-technology company and an agent-representative company retained to sell packages of bio-tech related patents.


  • [On a three-member panel] Complex family partnership dispute relating to farm property, involving partnership dissolution and property liquidation, and order for Liquidation Trustee process or appointment of a Receiver.


  • [On a three-member panel] Dispute regarding corporation’s payment of attorneys’ fees incurred in previous arbitration and litigation.


  • Numerous franchisor-franchisee cases involving claimed breaches of franchise agreements.


  • Case involving motor vehicle and consumer fraud case alleging misrepresentations and negligence by dealership.


  • Case between consumer and storage company involving claims of negligence and misrepresentation and reliance and disputed property damage.

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