30 Minutes

The most fundamental attribute of an arbitrator should be their ability to assess evidence and make decisions free from pre-conceived notions or biases. In a word: neutrality. But this essential ability is also one of the least examined aspects of our work. Efforts to improve arbitration usually address better management of the arbitral process (preliminary conference, hearing, award writing, etc.). Neutrality is presumed to be something arbitrators already possess, by dent of experience and intelligence. This session posits that impartiality is not a capability accrued passively through legal and judicial experience, but a specific skill that can be and should be, honed through deliberate practice and reflection. This session will provide resources that you, as an arbitrator, can use to identify pre-judgments, and habits of the mind that cause them. More than a dozen specific exercises put you on the path toward recognizing pre-judgments and enhancing neutrality. These practices will not only positively affect the way you conduct all aspects of the arbitral process, they will instill confidence in parties that their case is being heard with an effort to mitigate bias.

You will learn to identify personal experiences and habits of the mind that give rise to pre-judgments and affect your impartiality.

You will acquire a collection of specific exercises for refining non-judgmental listening and analysis.

You will develop a deep understanding of impartiality as a habit to be cultivated through intentional practice and daily introspection.

David Wadell, Houston TX

The AAA does not offer CLE in any jurisdiction for our on-demand programs, but you may be able to use a copy of the certificate available at the conclusion of the course to submit for CLE credit on your own (we recommend that you confirm availability of CLE in your jurisdiction for this type of course).