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Advocate Behavior - What are your thoughts?

What poor advocate behavior have you witnessed during arbitration proceedings? What are best practices to address this, where appropriate?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

Comments (4)

Once the Panel selection is complete the arbitrator is a neutral even if she or he was appointed by one of the parties. Behavior not in line with that neutrality is not appropriate and acts to discredit the arbitrator. The credibility of the arbitrator is paramount and arbitrators should be aware of the fact that acting as advocates sheds doubt about their neutrality and makes the working of the Panel as a whole more difficult.

I am most troubled by condescending behavior -- where one advocate tries to convince me that his or her adversary is incompetent or mean-spirited. Just try your case and be courteous, please.

Judge Gerald Harris :

Overbearing and overzealous cross examination. I simply reminded counsel that there was no jury present and that the level of vituperation was inappropriate.


I have been very fortunate in that counsel appearing before me have generally been competent, diligent, and respectful. One thing that has been irritating is the tendency for lawyers to blithely assume that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or equivalent state rules apply in their case, when usually they don't. I remind counsel that their touchstone should be the provisions of the AAA or other applicable forum rules.

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