Mediation in Today's News


Arbitration News

June 2014

Bob Buckley: Arbitration favors the deep pockets, not you

A number of years ago, large corporations discovered that there was a legal way of depriving consumers and employees of their constitutional right to a trial by jury. It is called “alternative dispute resolution,” which is just another way of stating that the little guy is not getting a full measure of justice. How many times do you sign an agreement that provides for arbitration in the event there is a dispute? Many consumer agreements today regarding phone service, cable television service, car sales, or even your employment agreement have arbitration provisions to which you have “agreed.” It's not like you have any negotiating power, because if every service provider dictates it there is no option.

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Your Contract Might Be Useless Without an Arbitration Clause

You are vulnerable without an arbitration clause in your contracts and it could prove to be devastating. Contracts are relatively useless if you cannot enforce them without too much hassle; enforcing them through litigation may be too costly and time-consuming to be practical. An "arbitration clause" is simply a provision in a contract that requires the parties to resolve disputes through private arbitration rather than litigating them in court. These clauses have become very popular of late since we live in a litigious society where often a breach of contract leads to one of the parties filing a lawsuit. Most people do not realize how costly and time-consuming it typically is to use the courts to enforce contracts.

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Big-Business influence: Madonnna, jury trials and mandatory arbitration

Madonna made news recently when she got a doctor’s note to avoid jury duty. The material girl’s no-show was not meant to be a statement about the often-futile system of civil justice in America, but it might as well have been. The influence of big business on our Supreme Court and elected officials over the years has resulted in a reality that civil “justice” is a joke, particularly for consumers and most employees. Our “right” to go to court has been virtually eliminated and in its place, the process of binding arbitration now resolves most consumer, employment, anti-trust, and civil rights disputes. Arbitration has virtually eliminated an aggrieved person’s right to go to court and seek justice.

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May 2014

Using arbitration agreements to manage arbitration cost and risk

Arbitration has been under attack as too expensive, too cumbersome, too slow, too arbitrary and incurring too many of the costs of litigation but delivering few of the promised benefits of ADR. Below are strategies — many of which may be employed in the arbitration agreement itself — that may reduce some of the perceived risks and costs. Many of these strategies require corporate counsel to be sensitive to issues perhaps more familiar to arbitration counsel, and to ask clients the necessary questions.

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Germany Mulls Arbitration for Web 'Right to Be Forgotten'

The German government is considering setting up arbitration courts to weigh in on what information people can force Google Inc. and other search-engine providers to remove from results. Following a European Union court decision this month granting consumers the “right to be forgotten,” the Interior Ministry in Berlin would seek to establish “dispute-settlement mechanisms” for consumers who file so-called take-down requests. If search providers introduce automatic deletion, public information would be at risk, the ministry said. “Politicians, prominent figures and other persons who are reported about in public would be able to hide or even delete reports they find unpleasant,” it said in a statement. The ministry suggested that the removal of information shouldn’t be left to company algorithms.

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Arbitrator, not court, decides arbitration agreement’s enforceability, California Court rules

A trial court lacked authority to rule on the enforceability of an arbitration agreement when the parties had contracted to delegate questions about the agreement’s enforceability to the arbitrator, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, reversing the denial of arbitration in a wrongful discharge action. Although the agreement’s delegation provision was in an adhesive contract, drafted by the employer and presented to the employee on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, and despite the fact the employee stated she was worried she would lose her job if she refused to sign it, the Court found the agreement was enforceable because it was not overly harsh or one-sided, and therefore, not substantively unconscionable.

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Mandatory Arbitration Offers Bargain-Basement Justice

The financial services industry is already forming battle lines in advance of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's expected proposal to curtail the use of mandatory arbitration in consumer financial contracts. The industry would like to continue its current widespread practice of eliminating consumer access to courts, including the right to bring class actions. Consumers are instead forced to resolve disputes in individual arbitrations with decision-makers chosen by the financial firms. The debate over binding mandatory arbitration comes down to this: Is it fair for a business to effectively force its consumers into a dispute resolution system that it has selected?

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Wondering What The Difference Is Between Mediation and Arbitration?

Most Americans know what litigation is even though the majority have likely never been involved in a lawsuit, other than perhaps in small claims court. Many have heard of mediation and arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, but few likely know exactly what they are and how they differ. I will explain the differences in this article.

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Arbitration Is Fair and Efficient for Consumers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released phase one of its study on the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in connection with consumer financial products and services. Among the study's preliminary findings, the CFPB determined that larger institutions are more likely to use arbitration clauses, arbitration clauses in account agreements can often be complex, and these agreements often contain class-action waivers. The preliminary study, released in December, read alone might also suggest that arbitration clauses could disadvantage consumers. However, because it was only a preliminary look, the report failed to paint a complete picture of the costs and benefits of arbitration.

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April 2014

Finra's Arbitrators: Dubious, Asleep—Sometimes Dead

When a couple in Wichita claimed they lost $187,500 in what they called a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by a Morgan Stanley (MS) broker, the industry-funded Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) provided a list of potential arbitrators to resolve the dispute. Two of the people were dead, one for more than two years, according to Diane Nygaard, the couple’s lawyer. She calls the faulty list a sign of a broken system that has failed to protect investors. “If it were a regular judicial system, you would not have a case appointed to people who are dead,” she says. “Wall Street should not have a special pet court that they operate.”

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General Mills abandons mandatory arbitration after consumer outcry

General Mills Inc., maker of Cheerios and other grocery staples, has reversed a recent change to its online legal policy after an outcry by consumers.  The policy had been quietly updated last week to include terms under which any dispute with the company would have to be decided through arbitration, a change first reported by the New York Times last week. Critics and legal experts said the new terms could cost consumers their right to sue in court if they merely "liked" General Mills' social media pages, downloaded coupons from its website or entered any company-sponsored contests. General Mills initially criticized the media reports on the policy, saying they had mischaracterized it. The company also defended arbitration as "a straightforward and efficient way to resolve such disputes — and many companies take the same approach. We even cover the cost of arbitration in most cases." But the coverage set off consumer outcry on social media, eventually leading to the abrupt reversal Saturday.

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State To Expand Court-Sponsored ADR Programs

The Connecticut Judicial Branch has announced a host of initiatives to improve court-sponsored alternative dispute resolution in order to keep up with the demand to resolve civil cases short of trial.  New initiatives announced by Chief Justice Chase Rogers will include expanding the number of judges who are trained to serve as mediators, to begin later this year. There are currently 60 judge and judge trial referees available for the Judicial Branch's ADR program, but many are not available to serve for lengthy periods of time as mediatiors. Increasing the number of judges who are available to provide mediation services on more than a limited basis to help parties reach a settlement will fill vacancies created by several Superior Court judges who left the bench in recent years to start their own mediation practices in recent years, Rogers said.  Another new initiative is to have attorneys appointed to serve as mediators. Rogers said the attorneys could be hired by the branch on a case by case basis, similar to the current appointments of attorney trial referees. "For example, attorneys with particular expertise in construction law, commercial disputes or probate law could be an invaluable asset in resolving those kinds of cases, where a substantice expertise in a specialized area is essential to understanding the issues of the case," Rogers said.

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Finra gets arbitration process back on track in Puerto Rico

Finra has expanded its pool of arbitrators and is ready to move forward with the hundreds of complaints related to collapses in Puerto Rico bond funds, according to an announcement posted on its web site Monday. After several months of deliberation, Finra said it will resume processing investor complaints now that it has about 700 arbitrators from Southeastern U.S. and Texas who are willing to fly to Puerto Rico. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has also resolved issues related to the language barrier as UBS AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch agreed to pay fees for translators.

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Emerging markets need to improve arbitration system

Dubai: Emerging markets need to upgrade their legal infrastructure, particularly those related to arbitration rules and regulation, experts said at the second day of the Annual Investment Meeting 2014 in Dubai. Louis Wells, Professor of international management at the Harvard Business School, said that despite the remarkable growth emerging markets could achieve in attracting foreign investments, these countries should work harder to improve their arbitration system. Arbitration is a very important instrument for improving the overall investment environment in the emerging markets and governments should do better in this to facilitate and protect these investments, Wells said.

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March 2014

Why You Should Opt Out Of Forced Arbitration, In 3 Sentences

While more and more companies are adding “forced arbitration” clauses to their terms of service, only a handful of these businesses are offering customers the choice to opt out of this part of the contract. Here are the reasons why you should take advantage of that option whenever possible.

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February 2014

Medical disputes pushed to arbitration

A new regulation will require public medical institutions to inform patients that they have the option to settle their medical disputes through arbitration if the case involves a claim of more than 30,000 yuan ($4,938). The regulation, which goes into effect next month, is one of several new rules that aim to steer more aggrieved patients to the city's medical arbitration system, rather than letting their complaints pile up at local hospitals, said Li Heping, vice director of the Shanghai Medical Dispute People's Arbitration Office. "There have been a lot of unsolved disputes accumulating at public hospitals. We want to push more of them into medical arbitration by informing more families about the system," Li said. Patients in about 75 percent of medical dispute cases have demanded more than 30,000 yuan in compensation, Li said. The medical arbitration system began in 2006 as a pilot program in several districts, but it received few cases until it was instituted citywide in 2011. Last year, local medical arbitration offices dealt with 3,087 cases and resolved about 80 percent of them.

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Can we talk?

Thinking of suing that firm that did you wrong as a customer or that vendor for poor quality merchandise? Try mediation or arbitration instead. The two methods are among remedies collectively known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Business owners who turn to ADR save time, money and maybe the business relationship that’s in question. “ADR is a cost containment mechanism. Cases move faster and that saves money,” says Bill Nolan, managing partner at Barnes & Thornburg.

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Regulator plans purge of Wall Street arbitrators

Wall Street veterans would no longer be allowed to act as arbitrators in many legal disputes between investors and their brokerages under a proposal that a U.S. regulator will present to its board on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said. The plan by the U.S. brokerage industry self-regulator, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), would mean that investors could opt to have their cases heard by a panel of three so-called public arbitrators who would not include people who had past industry ties.

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Mediation or Arbitration: What’s the Difference?

When people disagree, they have choices on how to resolve their dispute. They can lawyer-up, file a lawsuit, and let a judge or jury decide who wins. They can also try to resolve the matter between themselves, they can engage in arbitration or they can go through mediation. Mediation is a relatively inexpensive and fast way to resolve disputes. It is a process conducted by a trained and experienced mediator, who may be a retired judge or a practicing or retired attorney. The parties, generally through their attorneys, prepare a mediation statement describing their statement of the dispute, prior settlement efforts, legal authorities of precedential value, and a description and interpretation of documentary support for their position. The statements are often exchanged prior to the mediation. Mediation is a confidential procedure. What is discussed during the mediation and any documents prepared specifically for the mediation remain confidential. If an agreement is reached, it is put into writing and that agreement is not confidential. It is normally embodied in a motion for approval of the settlement and presented to the court in which the case is pending. Sometimes there is no court proceeding, so the parties hold onto the agreement in case enforcement down the road is required.

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Apparel Industry Voices: Mediation or Arbitration: What’s The Difference?

When people disagree, they have choices on how to resolve their dispute. They can lawyer-up, file a lawsuit, and let a judge or jury decide who wins. They can also try to resolve the matter between themselves, they can engage in arbitration or they can go through mediation.

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Arbitrator’s bill in porn-watching teacher case: $48,600

That’s how much taxpayers in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District paid for the services of Karen Mawhinney, the arbitrator who ordered the reinstatement of a seventh-grade science teacher fired for viewing multiple pornographic images and videos at school. The total bill was $48,600, split between the school district and the Middleton Education Association, the teachers union that represented Andrew Harris in what arbitration experts, including Mawhinney, described as an “extraordinary” process.

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January 2014

Clarifying Arbitration vs. Mediation vs. Litigation

Question: What is the difference between arbitration and mediation?
Arbitration is a method of finally determining a dispute. The end result is an award which is similar to a Court Order in that it is final and binding upon the parties and can be enforced against the parties in the same way as a judgment of the Court. In an arbitration, a neutral third party – the arbitrator – hears the evidence and makes a decision as to who is right and who is wrong. In a mediation, on the other hand, the neutral third party – the mediator – makes no such determination, but rather focuses on trying to assist the parties to come to a negotiated mutually satisfactory settlement or compromise of the matters in dispute. Sometimes, the mediator is successful, in which case, the dispute is over. Sometimes the mediator is not successful, in which case the dispute continues on. ...

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Ireland: Want To Arbitrate? Be Proactive

Perhaps the most attractive feature of arbitration is its flexibility. Efficient and cost-effective arbitration is possible if the right questions are addressed up front. For example: Do we need discovery? Do we need to oblige the parties to seek to mediate before moving to arbitration? Do we need a reasoned award? The Irish Courts have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to uphold arbitration clauses. Recent case law indicates that parties wishing to arbitrate must: (1) ensure that all relevant contracts clearly provide for arbitration, (2) avoid delay and (3) avail of the opportunity to engage fully in the process.

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Belgium Strengthens Position On International Arbitration Stage

Belgium makes headway in its plans to become an attractive forum for domestic and international arbitration. The new Belgian Arbitration Act, based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, has entered into force and CEPANI, the Belgian arbitration institute, has issued new arbitration rules. With the new Belgian Arbitration Act's entry into force, Belgium joins 66 other countries that have arbitration legislation based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. By modernising and aligning its Arbitration Act with international arbitration practice, Belgium hopes to establish itself as an attractive forum for international arbitration.

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Singapore: Becoming More Attractive For International Arbitration

With the newly issued SIAC Arbitration Rules, Singapore further strengthens its position as a preferred venue for international arbitration in Asia. The newly issued Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) include a number of significant changes affecting the arbitration process. These changes are highlighted below.

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December 2013

Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on mandatory binding arbitration clauses, those fun bits of contractual language that take away your right to sue a company and force you into a resolution process that is heavily weighted in the company’s favor. The hearing was chaired by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who earlier this year introduced the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act, and so he obviously has a thing or two to say on the topic.

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Mandatory Arbitration Provisions

Question: We are in the process of revising our employment agreements and want to put in a mandatory arbitration provision for all employees who have discrimination and wrongful-termination claims. Can you give us some tips on what such a provision should and should not look like in order to make sure it will be enforceable?

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Forced Arbitration Is Terrible For Consumers And Right-Wing Media Love It

A federal agency's new preliminary report debunks the popular right-wing myth that private contracts that require people to take their complaints to an arbitrator are an effective alternative to class-action lawsuits. Right-wing media outlets have consistently supported what are known as "forced-arbitration clauses" -- contractual provisions that often force consumers to give up their right to join a class action lawsuit and instead require them to go before an arbitrator individually, even if the amount in dispute is so small that it wouldn't make sense to pursue outside of a collective, mass action. But according to preliminary findings from a year-long study conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), forced arbitration clauses actually have the effect of denying consumers of financial products an important avenue for redress in contractual disputes. According to Alison Frankel at Reuters, "the evidence shows arbitration doesn't provide any recovery to the overwhelming majority of consumers of financial products." 

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Appeals Court Sides With Employers on Arbitration

Employers can require their workers to sign arbitration agreements waiving all rights to class-action lawsuits over workplace grievances, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a National Labor Relations Board decision last year that found such agreements conflicted with federal law giving workers the right to pursue collective action to complain about workplace conditions. The court's ruling is a win for businesses that want to limit legal exposure from the rising cost of class-action lawsuits over unpaid overtime and other wage violations. But it's a blow to workers who find it easier to band together when challenging the policies at a large company.

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Investor advocates push to see trove of arbitration records

A long-running battle over whether the top U.S. securities regulator should release records about its supervision of Wall Street's arbitration process is about to go another round, this time with input from a vocal consumer advocate. For nearly four years, a group of lawyers has been pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to release documents about its oversight over how the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority selects arbitrators who hear legal disputes between brokerages and investors. FINRA, the Wall Street industry-funded watchdog, runs the arbitration forum where investors and brokerages must resolve their legal disputes. The Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), a lawyers' group pushing for the release, has now enlisted lawyers of its own. The litigation arm of Public Citizen, a consumer rights group in Washington, filed a brief on PIABA's behalf in a federal appeals court last week to overturn a U.S. district court's earlier decision to keep the records a secret.

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FINRA Arbitrators to Get Pay Raise

Arbitrators in disputes between investors and brokers will get more pay for their work, the brokerage industry's self-regulator decided Thursday, people familiar with the matter said. Lawyers and arbitrators hope the pay rise, the first in 14 years, will attract more--and more skilled--arbitrators. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., which oversees the arbitration process, approved an increase in compensation for hearing arbitrators. Finra's board agreed to raise pay by 50%, to $300 for half-day dispute hearings and $600 for full-day sessions, according to people familiar with the matter. The chairperson of an arbitration panel is to receive an extra $125, an increase of 67%, these people said. The pay increases are "long overdue," Philip Aidikoff of Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari, a Beverly Hills, Calif., law firm that represents mainly investors who seek compensation from brokers for investment losses. "It's an acknowledgment that the arbitrators, for the most part, do a very good job and take it very seriously."

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November 2013

Arbitration center for Israeli-Palestinian business disputes launches

Jerusalem Arbitration Center aims to boost Israeli-Palestinian economic ties with agreed upon commercial dispute mechanism.  Until now, commercial disputes between Israelis and Palestinians were relegated to inefficient Oslo Accord-era mechanisms. Israeli businesses could not be sure that court decisions would be enforced in Palestinian areas, while Palestinians felt disadvantaged by Israeli law, especially when up against larger, more powerful businesses. With Palestinian courts generally hostile to Israelis, they made a poor alternative.  “There was no arrangement, and most of the deals were done in cash money,” said Shachor.  Because of the lacking legal mechanisms, businesses relied on cash on delivery and bank guarantees.  The new system will allow people to take their disputes to binding arbitration, and is expected to open the doors to other kinds of contracts, credit and business arrangements.

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ConstructionWeekOnline: The Peacekeepers

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is fast becoming a widely-accepted alternative to local court litigation. This is particularly true of arbitration. Oddly, mediation is still heavily underused, which begs the question whether there is room for wider subscription in the UAE? In cultures where contracts are not always regarded as rigorous terms of engagement but rather as a framework intended to govern a commercial relationship, mediation is particularly well-placed to serve the settlement of differences at arm’s length before they escalate.

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Springfield MA turns to mediation, arbitration to help settle long-expired employee contracts

The city has pursued negotiations, mediation and arbitration as it attempts to settle contracts with 10 municipal unions in Springfield, having reached just one agreement since contracts expired 16 months ago.

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October 2013

Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) begins radio program ‘City Legal’

In line with promoting awareness for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Nigeria, the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) has embarked on a radio programme, ‘City Legal’, which runs on Tuesdays by 10:00am and Thursdays by 05:30pm, on Smooth FM 98.1. The 15-minutes programme targeted as Large Corporations, Small and Medium Scale Business Owners, International Organisations, Consumers, among others, is created to enlighten and empower the public on ADR and the LCA’s role in bringing mediation and arbitration to the fore-front in dispute resolution.

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Pakistan: Mediation framework for investors stressed

Institutional framework for mediation should be further strengthened in Pakistan through legislative action as is being done in many countries around the world. Local and foreign investors should also include mediation clause in contracts as it provides an efficient and low-cost mechanism for dispute resolution, said Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Engineer Sohail Lashari at the certificate distribution ceremony arranged by International Finance Corporation (IFC) here on Saturday.

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Appeals court rejects secret Delaware arbitration

Ruling blocks private arbitrations overseen by sitting judge. A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling declaring that a Delaware law allowing chancery judges to oversee secret arbitration in high-stakes business disputes is unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 Wednesday to uphold a federal judge's ruling in favor of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, which challenged the law. DelCOG, backed by The Associated Press, The New York Times and several other major news organizations, claimed in its lawsuit that the secret arbitration conducted by Delaware's Chancery Court violated the First Amendment rights of citizens to attend judicial proceedings and access court records. Attorneys for the state argued that secret arbitration made the Chancery Court more efficient and generated revenue for Delaware, corporate home to thousands of companies.

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Moscow Ignores Arbitration Over Greenpeace Ship

Russia says it will not participate in an international arbitration process over a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship, the "Arctic Sunrise," which was seized by Moscow along with the 30 people onboard. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on October 23 that it will not take part in the arbitration because it had opted out of dispute settlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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Wyoming lawmakers consider arbitration for tow truck disputes

Members of a state legislative committee are awaiting a draft bill that would establish an arbitration system for Wyomingites who think they got ripped off by tow truck companies.  After rejecting the bill capping tow rates, the committee ordered legislative staff to draft a bill that would provide customers the opportunity to mediate or arbitrate with a towing company, Landen said. It will be reviewed at the committee’s November meeting in Casper. Mullen, the tow company owner, is open to the idea. “That’s fine by me,” he said. “I justify everything I do. Arbitration will be fine if they keep that fair.”

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Recent Court Decisions Shine a Renewed Light on the Desirability of Employee Arbitration Agreements

Recent court decisions significantly increase the enforceability of employee arbitration agreements, and also make enforceable a properly drafted waiver of an employee’s right to file a class action in court.

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September 2013

The Netherlands updates its Arbitration Act

In April 2013 the Dutch government published a bill for the 'modernisation of Netherlands arbitration law'. Among other things, the bill aims to ensure the continued appeal of the Netherlands Arbitration Act (1986) to international users. Some of the changes that are proposed in the bill are discussed.

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Innovative changes for Belgium’s arbitration rules

This year Belgium has already seen significant reforms in its arbitration rules. These innovative changes include the adoption of a new Arbitration Act and the adoption of new Arbitration and Mediation Rules by the Belgian Centre of Arbitration and Mediation (CEPANI).

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Alex Rodriguez's Arbitration Hearing Set to Begin

Alex Rodriguez gets to start arguing his case Monday. The Yankees slugger is appeal a 211-game suspension for his alleged involvement in the Biogenesis clinic. In a hearing room before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, lawyers for the Yankees third baseman will argue why the 211-game suspension imposed by the MLB Aug. 5 should be overturned.

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NJ Appellate Division Says That Mediator Cannot Then Serve As Arbitrator

From the court: "We conclude the positions of arbitrator and mediator are in conflict. An arbitrator must "maintain 'broad public confidence in the integrity and fairness of the [arbitration] process . . . If the same person acts as a mediator, obtains party confidences or offers opinions on the issues in dispute, a conflict arises were he or she to then switch roles to act as an arbitrator, making the final call.

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Rinehart Allowed Mediation After Arbitration Bid Rejected

Gina Rinehart, after failing to persuade an Australian judge to have a family dispute over a multibillion-dollar trust resolved by an arbitrator, won her bid for a final mediation attempt. Supreme Court Justice Patricia Bergin in Sydney today dismissed Rinehart’s bid to stop the trial and refer the dispute to arbitration. Bergin granted Rinehart’s request for mediation, to be held before Sept. 26, and if the dispute isn’t resolved the judge scheduled a five-day trial to start Oct. 8, a week later than originally planned.

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Arbitration case launched against New Doha International Airport

Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) has filed a circa AED 900 million ($250 million) international arbitration claim against the New Doha International Airport (NDIA). Linder Depa is a joint venture company between Dubai-based interior contractor Depa Limited and Germany’s Lindner AG. The arbitration proceeding has been commenced in the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France. 

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Citigroup must pay couple $3.1 million for not overseeing broker: panel

A Citigroup unit must pay $3.1 million to a Florida-based couple who alleged the firm did not properly supervise a broker who steered them to invest in a politician's real estate developments that later went broke, a securities arbitration panel has ruled.

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Increasing Enforceability Of Mandatory Arbitration Clauses In Wills And Trusts

A hot issue percolating among the states is whether a clause in a will or trust requiring alternative dispute resolution — usually arbitration — should be enforced by the courts. While initially courts appeared to frown on such provisions, the trend has shifted recently, particularly with a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court upholding such a clause.

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Looming decision on arbitration helps settle concussion cases

There’s much to digest about the $765 million settlement of the concussion lawsuits filed against the NFL, and plenty of questions to be answered. For now, the most important point is that the looming ruling on whether all or most of the claims would be steered toward the arbitration process helped the two sides come together and work out their own resolution.

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Schwab Case Casts Spotlight on Securities Arbitration and Its Flaws

Class-action lawsuits are the bane of most financial firms, and many recoil at the prospect of paying out millions to groups of clients if investments go sour. Now, the discount brokerage firm Charles Schwab & Company finds itself at odds with regulators as it seeks to eliminate the option of such suits for its clients.

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August 2013

Growth in Global Disputes Brings Big Paychecks for Law Firms

King & Spalding is handling arbitration in the legal feud between Chevron and Ecuador over environmental damage in the Amazon.
Debt woes, broken contracts and soured business deals may cost global investors billions in losses and create seemingly never-ending headaches for policy makers. But there is a set of specialists profiting from such geopolitical problems: arbitration lawyers. About a dozen legal heavyweights are benefiting from the growing number of lucrative, complex international disputes. About 120 such actions worth more than $1 billion each are pending at international arbitration tribunals worldwide, according to a recent tally by American Lawyer magazine.

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