Arbitration Theory and Practice

This course is designed to put students in the driver’s seat, confronting them with scenarios and issues that are familiar to legal counselors and advocates in arbitration. By the time students complete this class, they should be able to:

  • Differentiate the many forms and applications of arbitration processes in a variety of transactions and settings.
  • Compare and contrast arbitration with mediation and other “ADR” approaches and with litigation in court.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of arbitration usages in business and the roles of arbitrators and party representatives.
  • Negotiate and draft an arbitration/dispute resolution agreement.
  • Show an understanding of key differences associated with different arbitration rules and procedures, including differences in provider institutions and arbitrator appointment procedures.
  • Describe how to prepare for and conduct an arbitration hearing from the commencement of the process through the rendition of an arbitration award, including the prehearing conference, development of a procedural order, and setting a timetable for arbitration.
  • Identify and explain issues or process choices likely to arise during the course of an arbitration.
  • Show an understanding of the kinds of remedies available in arbitration and ways of framing arbitration awards and what happens after an award is rendered.
  • Enumerate key ethical obligations of arbitrators, with special emphasis on procedural fairness, independence, and impartiality.
  • Identify special concerns associated with arbitration occurring under standardized contracts involving consumers or employees.
  • Identify the issues that arise when the same person is a mediator as well as an arbitrator in a case and ways of addressing related concerns.

It is important that this class seem as relevant and useful to students’ lives and careers as possible. Today, some arbitration processes are heavily affected by the law and lawyers, but they are widely used to resolve business disputes. Students do not have to have a legal background to thoroughly understand what is covered in this course.