We have previously blogged on changes in the arbitration process. We have seen that commercial arbitration, and, in particular, the securities arbitration process, is undergoing a transformation.
The backdrop for these changes is related to the belief that many consider the increased cost in arbitration to be the of the Americanization of the process. That means, a higher cost for discovery battles, jurisdictional disputes, as well as litigating evidentiary issues that normally would not be litigated. Moreover, certain arbitration forums are increasing training for their arbitrators to attempt to avoid these these issues, and decrease costs. Further, some arbitration platforms are even implementing something commonly known as a “Rocket Docket,” that is, a process that quickly moves cases along to a conclusion. Some of the procedures that are being put in place include allowing video-conferencing for witnesses as opposed to actual live testimony and requiring stipulations over certain evidence to avoid long drawn out hearings.
Some of these reforms seem to have a good basis in reality, however, it will be interesting to see if these changes curtail a litigant’s rights, providing an opportunity to criticize the entire arbitration process.