ARBITRATION PHILOSOPHY

            When an arbitrator is appointed, he has that job, solely because there has been an agreement between parties, either a pre‑dispute agreement that was included in a contract, or an agreement that the parties have reached after a dispute has arisen, to arbitrate rather than litigate the dispute.  Because arbitration only arises as a result of an agreement by the parties to use arbitration rather than litigation to resolve a dispute, the parties' agreement to arbitrate frames the arbitrator's job and describes his powers (or lack of powers).  Arbitrators can only function within the framework of the parties' agreement.

            One part of the arbitration that can and should be acceptable to everyone is the schedule.  Courtrooms run on strict schedules governed by the judge and juries, not by the lawyers or parties.  Arbitration has an advantage and an efficiency in that it is scheduled in a manner that it agreeable to everyone.  Another advantage of arbitration is that it is quicker and cheaper than litigation. I try, working with the parties, to structure the arbitration so that it is efficient and convenient for the parties and attorneys.

            I do not agree to arbitrate cases in which I have been a mediator because the roles and the interaction with the parties of a mediator and an arbitrator are very different.  With a mediator a party is encouraged to be confidential and candid, while with an arbitrator, ex parte communication is not permitted, the parties take their positions, and are not expected to be candid about the weaknesses of their case. Because the role in a case of an arbitrator and mediator are very different, and I do not perform both functions in the same case.

            If I can assist you by arbitrating your case, I'm glad to do so.  I have been trained in arbitration procedures both under the Federal Arbitration Act and the Hawaii Uniform Arbitration Act and am familiar with arbitration rules of AAA and DPR.