With arbitrated matters nearly outpacing the number of disputes being heard in court, blog seeks to be a valuable resource for staying on top of arbitration trends and issues
Arbitration is rapidly increasing as a means of resolving disputes here in the U.S. In fact, most people are surprised to learn just how much arbitration is part of our court system.
Last year alone, the American Arbitration Association reported 143,349 filed cases, and around 10,000 more were filed with JAMS, another alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider. During the same time span, 190,543 civil cases were filed in all U.S. District Courts. In short, two of the largest ADR providers are handling almost as many civil cases right now as the nation's federal courts.
The steady increase in arbitration is taking businesses as well as lawyers by surprise. To help litigators, in-house counsel, arbitrators and others stay on top of the many thorny issues that arise under the Federal Arbitration Act, Leonard, Street and Deinard has launched a new blog, ArbitrationNation.com. The blog will provide insightful news and analysis on arbitration and review how courts are determining when to enforce arbitration clauses and how to determine the scope of those arbitration clauses, as well as other issues.
This is the first blog of its kind to focus on how and when courts are dealing with arbitration, whereas other references focus primarily on topics specific to international or consumer arbitration.
"Arbitration is meant to be an alternate to litigation—and yet, arbitration is itself the subject of much litigation over who must arbitrate, what must be arbitrated, whether and how the arbitration should proceed, and the deference courts must show to arbitration awards," explains Liz Kramer, a commercial litigator at Leonard, Street and Deinard and chief blogger of ArbitrationNation.com.
"In the course of my practice, I bump into these issues with my clients all the time," she explains. "Today almost every construction contract contains an arbitration provision, as do many franchise agreements. When the parties have a substantive disagreement, frequently one of them wants to proceed in the court system and not in arbitration. Then we end up with court arguments about whether the arbitration agreement is enforceable and whether it is broad enough to cover the parties' disagreement."
Kramer, who has followed arbitration issues for many years, is a frequent writer and speaker on arbitration law and regularly teaches continuing legal education programs on the subject. "Even for practiced litigators, the case law surrounding the Federal Arbitration Act can be a big surprise," Kramer says "It is not intuitive."
ArbitrationNation.com follows in the successful footsteps of Leonard, Street and Deinard's other blogs: Dodd-Frank.com, which features more than 400 articles on issues relating to the Dodd-Frank Act and has drawn nearly 100,000 visitors to date, and CRETrends.com, a recently launched blog covering legal topics and trends in today's commercial real estate marketplace.