NYSBA Presents – Best Practices: Roundtable On Different Approaches To Arbitration

Featuring CCA Fellows: Steven Certilman, Eugene Farber, Jack Levin, Richard Mattiaccio, Abigail Pessen, Richard H. Silberberg, and Edna Sussman.

Roundtable program with 20 experienced large complex case arbitrators that will discuss various topics on managing an arbitration case. Topics to be discussed, amongst others:

•    Scope of preliminary hearings:  Do you favor a comprehensive preliminary hearing or just essentially a scheduling conference?  Why?  What is the average length of your preliminary hearings?  Do you elicit discussion by counsel of the merits of their claims and/or defenses? Why?  How does that go?  

•    Status conferences:  To what extent do you conduct status conferences with counsel?  How helpful are they?  

•    Discovery motions:  What do you tell counsel as to the extent of papers they should submit in this regard?  In hearing such motions, do you proceed mostly based on papers submitted by counsel or based more on oral argument?  To what extent do you find that you hear and resolve discovery issues categorically versus through going through individual requests and objections?  

•    Substantive motions:  How open are you to substantive motions?  How often do you permit them?  Grant them?  Is your experience different in this regard insofar as concerns motions to dismiss versus summary judgment motions? What standards do you use in addressing such matters.  When you deny such motions, to what extent do you paper your denials?

•    Statutes of limitations: What, in your view, is the role of statute of limitations in arbitration?  Do you apply them in your cases?  What about contractual limitations periods?

•    Non-party subpoenas:  We all know how complex the law in the U.S. has become as to non-party subpoenas.  What is your attitude toward signing them?  Is your default to sign them?  Or to not sign them?  To what extent do you, before signing non-party subpoenas, review the scope of the subpoenas, or do you leave that as something to be raised later by the recipient of the subpoena? Do you invite the recipients of subpoenas to bring issues as to scope to the arbitrator or panel?

•    The appropriate balance between proactively managing your cases and recognizing party autonomy:  What do you see as the appropriate balance here?

•    Adjournments:  What is your approach to adjournment requests?  How do you decide such matters?  Do you paper your decisions in this regard?   How so?

•    Zoom versus in-person preliminary and evidentiary hearings:  What are your views on this at this time?

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