From the Disputing Blog of Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes.
Kristen Blankley, Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law recently authored and interesting and useful article entitled Keeping a Secret from Yourself? Confidentiality When the Same Neutral Serves Both as Mediator and as Arbitrator in the Same Case, Baylor Law Review, Forthcoming. In her article, Professor Blankley examines the process of med-arb from a confidentiality and privilege standpoint.
Here is the abstract:
As the alternative dispute resolution field has grown, parties have designed their own processes from established processes in an attempt to best serve their process needs. One such hybrid process is mediation-arbitration, called “med-arb” for short. Med-arb involves a single neutral who first serves as a mediator, and, if the parties reach impasse in mediation, the neutral then serves as an arbitrator to resolve the dispute. Although the literature has given some attention to the benefits and drawbacks of med-arb, this Article examines the process in light of broad mediation confidentiality and privilege statutes. Because these laws have no exceptions for med-arb, parties who seek to utilize this process must execute careful waivers to avoid the possibility that any resulting arbitration award later be vacated by the courts.
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