July 17, 2018

AAA-ICDR Successful Diversity Initiatives

By Mansi Karol and Jeffrey T. Zaino

As part of the AAA-ICDR's continuing effort to expand diversity on the Panel of arbitrators and mediators, the AAA-ICDR collaborated with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) through sponsorship of the MCCA's annual meeting and presentation of an ADR program for its members. The AAA-ICDR also assisted with the conception of a new organization, the ADR Inclusion Network, which focuses on promoting diversity in the ADR community. Two AAA-ICDR staff are proud founding members of the ADR Inclusion Network.

The AAA-ICDR also continued to emphasize diversity in its recruitment of arbitrators and mediators. Executives across every division of the organization actively recruited women and minority candidates who met the criteria established for the AAA-ICDR's panels. As a result, in 2017, the AAA added 78 new women and minority candidates to its Roster. As part of its recruitment efforts, the AAA-ICDR continues to build coalitions and participate in events with national, minority, and local bar associations and law schools around the country in order to provide training and create opportunities for diverse practitioners. Among the initiatives launched in 2017 is a joint recruitment initiative with the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) to recruit their members for inclusion on the AAA-ICDR's Roster. The AAA-ICDR also successfully partnered with the National Bar Association (NBA) to provide training and recruitment opportunities to its members, which resulted in several of its members being invited to apply to the AAA-ICDR's Roster. Another area of focus was on providing diverse lists of proposed arbitrators to parties on cases and prioritizing diversity in the selection of speakers for the AAA-ICDR's educational programs. Among the cases facilitated by the AAA-ICDR in 2017, 25% of them were managed by diverse panels.

July 16, 2018

Final Pre-Hearing Conference - What are your thoughts?

What agenda items do you typically cover in a final pre-hearing conference before an evidentiary hearing? Do you send a checklist or agenda out in advance? Are there sources you would recommend for template agendas?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

July 9, 2018

Supplier diversity programs - What are your thoughts?

Supplier diversity programs have helped make marked improvements in the diversity of the attorneys who represent parties in court, arbitration, mediation, etc. Why do you think arbitrators and mediators are routinely overlooked or excluded from a company's supplier diversity program, such that those same criteria are not applied to the selection of neutrals?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

June 30, 2018

Subpoenas in Arbitration - What are your thoughts?

Many advocates are not as familiar with the legal framework and constraints governing the issuance of subpoenas in arbitration. How have you handled ensuring that advocates are sufficiently versed on this topic? Conducting status conferences where the proper practices are discussed? Pointing counsel to resources where they can educate themselves? Please share your insights.

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

June 24, 2018

Split the Baby - What are your thoughts?

While it is a common misperception that arbitrators (at least in commercial matters) "split the baby" in issuing a final award, how prevalent do you think it is that they do so in ruling on information exchange (discovery) disputes?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

June 17, 2018

Motions to Disqualify Counsel - What are your thoughts?

Are motions to disqualify counsel appropriate in arbitration? Why or why not?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

June 9, 2018

Motions in to strike expert witnesses - What are your thoughts?

Are motions in to strike expert witnesses appropriate in arbitration? Why or why not?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

June 4, 2018

Destroying Documents - What are your thoughts?

As either an arbitrator or mediator, what best practices do you adopt in destroying documents - both hard copy and electronic - that you receive from the parties in the course of your appointment after the matter is closed? How long do you keep the documents and what steps do you take to ensure that the parties' expectations of confidentiality are maintained?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

May 27, 2018

When one party defaults - What are your thoughts?

When one party (usually the respondent) defaults and fails to appear in the proceeding, what steps should the arbitrator and/or the administering organization take to ensure that the respondent has been properly given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to participate and/or otherwise ensure due process?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

May 19, 2018

Inactive Status - What are your thoughts?

For those who are full-time arbitrators and/or mediators and also licensed attorneys, but do not ever anticipate practicing law again, what value or advantage, if any, is there in taking "inactive" status in the bar or even relinquishing the license to practice law?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.