© American Arbitration Association, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Leaning toward Litigation? Consider this:
A former judge brings the distinction of the courts to the time and cost savings of arbitration and mediation.

High-level, diverse retired judges on the AAA Judicial Panel bring another level of caliber to the arbitrator or mediator role. The panel is comprised of over 280 former federal and state judges from 42 states plus the District of Columbia and includes trial and appellate jurists.

For those cases that require in-depth industry and technical expertise, the AAA provides specialty panels of the National Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators. However, the best “judge” of an arbitration often is a former judge. Judges* are decisive and used to making tough decisions and picking a winner. Similarly, the best facilitator of a mediation can be a former judge, with strong, fair settlement capabilities.

Best of Both Worlds

The former judge has a unique perspective on litigation issues as well as a deep understanding of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

  • Judges are able to move cases through expeditiously due to case-management mastery attained by clearing heavy court dockets.
  • Judges have state and federal law knowledge and experience in dealing with a multitude of case types.
  • Judges have public track records. Parties are privy to judges’ reputations and records of their rulings and their predilections.
  • Parties can choose their judges, a luxury not available in court litigation.
  • Judges have insight into the result of a potential litigation and can offer parties invaluable evaluative input.
     

*Judges will refer to “former judges” for the purpose of this panel.

A Thought for Counsel: Sometimes a less-than-favorable award may cause parties to second-guess the choice of arbitration over litigation.
You can feel comfortable knowing that your arbitrator is an actual judge who has insight into a likely outcome in litigation.

What do former judges believe are the most compelling assets they bring to the table?

Knowing the rules of evidence
In an arbitration of an eight-figure contract dispute between a national, high-volume e-retailer and a large warehouse company, knowing how the parol evidence rule should be applied and where intent of the parties to the contract was at issue saved many days of arbitration and led to an expeditious determination of the merits. Being a judge and comfortably making evidentiary rulings is important to the arbitration process, but I have also found judicial knowledge of the practical application of the rules of evidence to be extremely helpful in mediating disputes because it allows me to credibly explain what is likely to happen in the trial of a case. 
- Former U.S. District Court Judge


Skilled in moving cases along
Former Superior Court Judges are particularly well suited for cases grounded on legal principles, such as validity of contracts, employee vs independent contractor status, and product defect liability. In my case, having sat as a civil independent calendar judge, I have had the opportunity to study and be schooled on many different and complex legal concepts through both my law and motion calendars and trial.
Former Superior Court Judge


Experience handling pro se parties
My experience as a judge handling pro se litigants impressed on me the importance of treating the pro per with respect and complete fairness and also gave me a better understanding of practical ways to deal with these parties so that the proceedings progressed with efficiency and integrity.
-
 Former Superior Court Judge

The AAA “Docket”
(January 2014 through December 2015)

Arbitrations

  • 2,854 Judicial Panel appointments
  • $6.1 billion total claims and counterclaims arbitrated
  • Representative industries include accounting, commercial and residential construction, energy, entertainment, financial services, franchise, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, real estate, and technology. Judicial panelists also are frequently selected to arbitrate consumer, employment, and labor cases, as well as mass claims caseloads.

Mediations

  • 402 Judicial Panel appointments
  • $175.5 million total claims and counterclaims mediated
  • Representative industries include accounting, commercial and residential construction, energy, entertainment, financial services, franchise, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, real estate, and technology. Judicial panelists also are frequently selected to mediate consumer, employment, and labor cases, as well as mass claims caseloads. 

Evaluative mediation skills
After a full day of mediation of the dissolution of several real estate partnerships, the parties were still several $100,000 apart in their respective settlement positions. But with enough movement generated, both sides agreed to have me prepare a written mediator’s proposal as a final step in the mediation process. Utilizing my 20 years of experience as a state trial judge, I drafted a six-page mediator’s proposal analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s position if the case were to continue in litigation and proposing a detailed resolution of the dispute. Both sides ultimately accepted my mediator’s proposal as the basis for a final settlement.
Former Circuit Court Judge


Facilitative mediation skills
I have found that the ability to listen with discernment acquired during my bench service has been invaluable during challenging arbitrations and mediations. It is part of a lawyer’s craft to influence and persuade judges, arbitrators, and mediators. Therefore a necessary part of arbitrating and mediating is the ability to see what is really happeningwhat the question really isand to respond in an appropriate and neutral way.
- Former Circuit Court Judge

One of my more challenging mediations was a personal injury matter in which both parties arrived with fixed, intransigent positions. My settlement conference experience as a judge helped me settle this case to each party’s satisfaction.
Former Municipal Court Judge 

With panel judges available nationwide, parties are less likely to incur travel expenses.
Click here for the statewide distribution of judges.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT AN AAA VICE PRESIDENT OR FILL OUT THE FORM TO THE RIGHT

ANDREW B. BARTON
Vice President
Phone: (210) 998-5750
Email: BartonA@adr.org
JEFFREY T. ZAINO, ESQ.
Vice President
Phone: (212) 484-3224
Email: ZainoJ@adr.org

The AAA “Docket”
(January 2014 through December 2015)

Arbitrations

  • 2,854 Judicial Panel appointments
  • $6.1 billion total claims and counterclaims arbitrated
  • Representative industries include accounting, commercial and residential construction, energy, entertainment, financial services, franchise, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, real estate, and technology. Judicial panelists also are frequently selected to arbitrate consumer, employment, and labor cases, as well as mass claims caseloads.

Mediations

  • 402 Judicial Panel appointments
  • $175.5 million total claims and counterclaims mediated
  • Representative industries include accounting, commercial and residential construction, energy, entertainment, financial services, franchise, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, real estate, and technology. Judicial panelists also are frequently selected to mediate consumer, employment, and labor cases, as well as mass claims caseloads. 

*Required Fields

Submit
Fix the following errors:
Hide