Did you know there is an ADR process called “hot-tubbing?” This was news to me when I heard it mentioned last week at the Court ADR Symposium (which occurs every year on the day before the ABA Dispute Resolution Section Conference). As I understand it, the process is used sometimes in arbitration when there are conflicting expert opinions. Basically, the idea is that rather than simply hear expert testimony from each side sequentially, the arbitrator questions the experts concurrently. Hot-tubbing has been used in court settings in Australia, England and Wales, as well as in arbitration. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘arbitration’
Last year, the Delaware Coalition for Open Government sued Delaware’s Chancery Court judges for operating a private arbitration system. Empowered by legislation passed in 2009, the judges were acting as arbitrators in business disputes, which, the Coalition argued, effectively made court proceedings confidential. According to the Coalition, this violated the presumptive right to access to judicial proceedings and documents, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Judge Mary McLaughlin from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania agrees. In a 26-page opinion, she rules that the arbitrations are sufficiently like a trial to be covered by the right to access presumption in the First Amendment. In coming to this conclusion, she argues that unlike arbitrators, who are private actors selected by the parties, judges are appointed to public service and therefore must act in the public interest.
The US Courts’ news service posted last week about a preliminary report by Donna Stienstra at the Federal Judicial Center that shows the extent to which federal courts use ADR. Thirty years after a handful of courts first began experimenting with ADR, every federal district court now authorizes some form of ADR, and a third of courts authorize multiple ADR processes. During the year ending June 30, 2011, more than 28,000 cases were referred to ADR in 49 district courts (out of 94 total district courts; statistics weren’t available for the remaining courts). (more…)
Via Art Hinshaw at ADR Prof Blog, the judges in Delaware’s Chancery Court are being sued by the Delaware Coalition for Open Government for operating a private arbitration system. The crux of the lawsuit is that the court’s arbitration program for business disputes, in which sitting judges act as private arbitrators, is essentially a way for court proceedings to be held outside of public view. According to the complaint, this is a violation of the presumptive right to access to judicial proceedings and documents as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Read more about it here.