November 30, 2010
I am very much in favor of amending the rule to permit panels composed only of public arbitrators.
In my opinion, non-public arbitrators are generally biased against claimants.
In addition, whether they are biased or not, there is clearly a perception that they are.
Invariably when I explain the composition of the arbitration panels to clients, they exclaim "How can that be? That isn't fair" They liken it to a personal injury trial with a third of the jurors being insurance company executives.
If, as industry representatives often claim, an industry arbitrator is helpful to the claimant, then a claimant that believes so can choose such a panel.