In arbitration the parties submit their dispute to a neutral person for decision. Arbitration decisions are binding and final. Ideally, arbitrations are faster and less expensive than lawsuits in the court system. In practice, arbitrations may have some of the same complexities as lawsuits, but, as in court-system proceedings, the identity of the decision-maker is very important to the litigants. Just as with a trial judge, the parties depend on the independence, wisdom, and integrity of their decision-maker when they submit a serious dispute to an arbitrator. Arbitration is very different from mediation in one obvious way – parties have no control over the outcome, no ability to approve (or disapprove) the outcome of the case.

David Lehman's Arbitration experience

In his litigation practice prior to 2010, David represented business clients in a number of significant commercial arbitration cases under the administration of the AAA. That experience has given him a solid grounding in the pre-hearing and hearing processes that facilitate arbitrations. Several times each year since the founding of Lehman Mediation Service LLC, David has been asked to serve as an arbitrator of a pending dispute. Several of those engagements have been in cases already filed in a court, where parties had lost confidence in the capacity of the judicial system to deliver a timely, well reasoned, and final decision.

Service as an arbitrator requires independence from the parties, substantive understanding of the law relating to the parties' dispute, and knowledge of rules and practices that govern and affect pre-hearing preparations and the presentation of evidence at a hearing. The arbitrators must maintain neutrality both in substance and in appearance, assuring each party the opportunity to present its positions before reaching a decision. Prior to formal engagement of an arbitrator, the parties ask the candidate to review a list of parties and affiliates in order to be assured that there are no undiscovered relationships or connections that would impact the complete neutrality of that person. Beyond neutrality, of course, the parties must be satisfied that the candidate brings intellectual capacities, a basic fairness, and a capacity to make sound judgments.

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