The Charlotte office will host an ACC CLE on Thursday, October 15 entitled "Using Referees or Special Masters as Alternatives to Arbitration Clauses." Fred Wood will moderate a panel discussion that includes Neale Johnson, Tim Lendino and Rob Marcus. The program will begin at 4:00 pm with a cocktail reception to follow.
The program description is as follows:
Arbitration provisions can be useful in taking cases away from jurors and in limiting discovery, but they also bring with them significant costs, including paying an organization (e.g., American Arbitration Association) large filing fees to administer arbitration, the cost of the arbitrator(s), and how to handle difficult procedural issues in arbitration, such as obtaining provisional remedies that require a court order or the loss of rules of evidence, rule of law, and appellate review. One possible solution to this program is to use a "referee" (North Carolina state court procedure), or "special master" (federal procedure) within a civil action rather than sending a case to arbitration. These techniques have the potential to get the main benefits of arbitration (expert finder of fact/waiver of a jury trial) without the downsides (loss of discover, no rules of evidence, no meaningful appeal). This presentation discusses the possibilities and problems of using the referee/special master procedures as alternatives to arbitration or ordinary litigation.
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