Great Expectations: Meeting the Challenge of a New Arbitration Paradigm – Vol. 23 No. 2

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Author: George Gluck*

Published: December 2012

Description: Courts, commentators and arbitration organizations have observed that the hallmark of arbitration is that it is “a speedy, efficient, and less expensive alternative to court litigation.” Business users complain that arbitration is no longer faster and cheaper than litigation. In fact, it has taken on many of the time-consuming and negative characteristics of litigation – including expensive discovery, motion practice and tactical delaying stratagems – as practiced especially in the United States. One commentator has observed that “[b]y the beginning of the twenty-first century . . . it was common to speak of U.S. business arbitration in terms similar to civil litigation – ‘judicialized,’ formal, costly, timeconsuming, and subject to hardball advocacy.” Arbitration organizations have taken notice. At the Orlando AAA Neutrals Conference held on November 5, 2010, William Slate, President and CEO of the American Arbitration Association, in his keynote address entitled All Hands on Deck, stated: “Indeed, ‘cost and delay’ as an issue is the single biggest challenge …

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*Independent Arbitrator & Mediator – New York; Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators; Member, New York and Ontario Bars.