Commercial Arbitration 2.0: Re-Booting Arbitration to Make it More User-Friendly

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Originally published in Bloomberg Finance L.P. on May 16, 2012.

Commercial arbitration is going through a transformation. Faced with broad criticism that it has failed to deliver the speed, efficiency, and flexibility that ADR proponents have long promised, arbitrators are adopting a series of innovations designed to make the procedure faster, more predictable, and more user-friendly. We are experiencing the roll out of Commercial Arbitration 2.0. The new buzz words and phrases include: the ‘‘managerial’’ arbitrator, discovery ‘‘tutorials,’’ expert ‘‘hot-tubbing,’’ and witness Skyping. And all of this is made possible through the broader and more creative use of stipulations.

Commercial arbitration today is a different creature than its historical ancestor. And it presents new opportunities and risks for lawyers and clients. One thing is clear: our collective satisfaction with the new process will hinge on our ability to use these new tools effectively.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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