Published: June 2006
Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Sources of Arbitration Law
Description: JAMS, founded in 1979, has traditionally been known as a leading provider of domestic dispute resolution services in the United States. JAMS is also now recognized as a substantial provider of mediation and arbitration services throughout the world, both as an institution and as a source for qualified mediators and arbitrators.
In order to appreciate the quantity and quality of JAMS’ international resolution work, it is essential to understand how JAMS began and how it operates as an organization. Historically, “JAMS” was an acronym that stood for “Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services.” While it began in California, JAMS joined in 1994 with a company known as “Endispute,” one of the primary dispute resolution service providers on the East Coast of the United States. For some time thereafter, JAMS was known as “JAMS/Endispute.” In 2004 JAMS joined with ADR Associates, a premier provider of mediation services.
JAMS is now the largest provider of mediation services in the world, and the second largest provider of arbitration services in the United States. JAMS consistently counts over 10,000 case filings each year. These are “real” numbers as a class action or a mass tort matter counts as a single case. Total revenue for 2005 approached US $90 million. Approximately 70 percent of JAMS’ revenue in 2005 was attributable to mediation and 30 percent to arbitration.
JAMS maintains 23 Resolution Centers throughout the United States, located in the major U.S. cities. Each facility is designed to accommodate both mediations and arbitrations. In addition, JAMS now has on its roster of neutrals in excess of 200 individuals, many of whom are former U.S. state or federal court judges. The remainder of JAMS’ neutrals are typically well-regarded retired partners from major law firms, professors of law, or senior lawyers from established mediation or arbitration providers who now work full-time as mediators and arbitrators. All JAMS neutrals are independent contractors.
**Robert B. Davidson is the Executive Director of JAMS Arbitration Practice and head of its International Arbitration efforts. He is a full-time mediator and arbitrator based in New York. Richard Chernick is a Vice President and Managing Director of JAMS Arbitration Practice. He is a full-time mediator and arbitrator based in Los Angeles. A version of this article was originally published in ADR IN ASIA, SOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS (Asia Law & Practice 2005).