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Brooklyn Museum – A Defense Lawyer at the Court of Arbitration Discussing Business at his Usual Office Premises (

Today’s General Counsel published its Arbitration Trends for 2014. This is a good read.

General counsels were asked why they arbitrate and why they don’t. Respondents said that they arbitrate because (1) it’s required by contract; (2) it’s confidential; and (3) it’s less costly. Interestingly, none of these top responses obtained 50% approval.

When asked why they don’t arbitrate, respondents said they don’t because (1) arbitration can be too quick; (2) arbitrators tend to “split the baby”; and (3) cost and time advantages can be illusory.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the users (clients) of ADR processes. While Today’s General Counsel has another article summarizing a study showing arbitrators don’t “split the baby”, that perception exists. If the hard numbers show the opposite of perceptions, why do so many users have perception?

What are your thoughts on the state of arbitration? Is arbitration meeting its promise of an alternative to traditional litigation? Or has it become a form of private dispute resolution with the same discovery expenses and motion practices found in traditional litigation? Please share your thoughts.



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