arbitration and gender.doc - Name Professor Class...

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Name Professor Class Information Date Diversity and Arbitration in the United States Over the last couple of decades, several factors such as long wait times, high legal fees, overloaded court dockets, and complex legal formalities have undermined the efficacy of the court system not only in the United States but in court systems across the world. As such, disputes have not been resolved in an effective and efficient manner, which is why so many individuals turn to arbitration as a substitute to the traditional judicial process. Indeed, arbitration has been perceived as less expensive, faster, and far less adversarial, which is why it has become an alternative for resolution. Firms and individuals alike have diagnosticate the benefits of going through arbitration, and an ample number of modern contracts include clauses that mandate plaintiffs to go through the arbitration process rather than filing lawsuits. Therefore, a proliferation of would-be litigants opts for arbitrators rather than judges to resolve disputes; according to a 2008 report published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, more than eighty percent of all disputes are settled in arbitration rather than through the traditional court system process (Smalls). As a result of the escalating population of arbitration, there is a growing necessity for neutral agents to serve on arbitration panels. For neutrality, these agents need to be diverse in terms of their backgrounds in addition to having a wealth of business or legal experience. Many of the neutral agents practice law autonomously and only select which cases they arbitrate predicated on their membership in a surrogate dispute resolution organization (American Arbitration Association). When an individual files a claim with a pertinent
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organization, that organization usually gives the disputant a list of potential arbitrators for the parties involved can pick from. The arbitrators are respected individuals within the profession who have demonstrated full competency and capabilities to fairly handle any and all disputes presented to them. However, women continue to be kept off these lists of arbitrators, which is why corporate leaders and other parties often involved in the arbitration process publicly complain about the lack of gender diversity on lists and thus panels. John Bickerman, who serves as the head of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, has lamented that the lists of arbitrators contain same, mostly older white males, from which disputants can chose from (American Arbitration Association). Although these esteemed, high-profile white men may be very qualified and effective in the majority of these cases, they do not represent society overall, especially as society continues to become increasingly diverse. As such, they cannot fully comprehend and resolve disputes between parties whose circumstances and lives. The insular nature of the arbitration community both in Europe and the United States has rendered gender diversity a complicated matter in arbitration as a professional practice. While there is a dearth of
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