Philip E. Cutler
Arbitration & Mediation Services
Mediation and arbitration can be thought of as a dance, though, tailored as they must be to the parties' needs, less choreographed than Jack Mackie's iconic Dance Steps.

About Phil

Since 1973 I have advised and counseled public and private clients in a wide range of commercial and business matters, principally as a trial lawyer.  [Click here for my law practice C.V.]  Having served as a mediator, arbitrator and special master since the mid-1980s, as an adjunct to my law practice, in 2011 I began the transition from serving as an advocate to full-time service as a neutral arbitrator, mediator, special master and consultant in ADR practice and procedure.  I now devote almost 100% of my time to ADR work.

I believe strongly in affording parties the benefits they contracted for when agreeing to arbitration: a confidential proceeding, fairly and efficiently managed by a knowledgeable and experienced arbitrator, with the award soundly grounded in applicable law and the evidence.  While I serve frequently as sole arbitrator, I have substantial experience in 3-arbitrator panels and deal especially well with the challenges that such panels present.  Although most of my arbitrations are venued in Washington, I am increasingly selected for cases venued in other jurisdictions.  [Click here for my profile and representative arbitrations and special master assignments]

Most of my clients as a lawyer were entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses, none of whom could easily afford the cost and expense of litigation.  That experience prompted me to counsel clients to actively explore settlement of disputes, principally through mediation.  When serving as a mediator, I tailor my approach to the needs of the case, the parties and the lawyers advising them. [Click here for my profile and representative mediations]

Speaking Engagements

Upcoming Appearances:

  • March 24, 2017 -- Setting the Stage: The Importance of the Initial Preliminary Hearing in Arbitration at the 23rd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference on March 24, 2017 at the University of Washington Law School.   Further information about the conference and its workshops/programs can be found at http://wsba-adr.org/page/northwest-dispute-resolution
  • March 27-28, 2017 -- Fundamentals of Arbitration and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators in Seattle at the AAA's new Seattle office location,1420 Fifth Avenue. Attendance is by invitation only.ct

Past Appearances:

  • March 24, 2016 -- Examining Consumer Arbitration Clauses: Latest Legal Developments and Practical Remedies, Seattle, University of Washington Law School and Washington State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, 22nd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
  • December 16, 2014 -- Arbitration and Mediation: Handling Business Disputes with Minimal Conflict, Seattle,National Business Institute
  • October 17, 2014 -- Best Practices in Presenting Your Case in Arbitration, Seattle, King County Superior Court Mandatory Arbitration Department
  • September 10, 2014 - Principled Decision-Making and Independent Arbitrator Research, Seattle, American Arbitration Association Arbitrator Continuing Education
  • April 3, 2014 -- Best Practices for the Multi-Arbitrator Tribunal, Miami FL, American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, 16th Annual Dispute Resolution Conference
  • October 13, 2013 -- Intra-Tribunal Relations: Best Practices, Albuquerque NM, College of Commercial Arbitrators, 2013 Annual Meeting
  • May 23, 2013 -- Mediating Customer-Broker Disputes, Seattle, The Seminar Group
  • November 8, 2012 -- Arbitration of Commercial and Consumer Claims, Seattle, King County Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section
  • May 5, 2012 -- Closing the Deal, Seattle, University of Washington Law School and Washington State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, 19th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
  • June 30, 2011 -- Ethical Issues and Considerations for Neutrals and Attorneys in Tribal Matters, Seattle, American Arbitration Association and Seattle University Law School
  • June 13, 2008 -- How to Survive Residential Construction ADR, Washington State Bar Association
  • April 8, 2011 -- Primer on Drafting ADR Clauses, Bellingham, National Association of Legal Secretaries
  • November 17, 2010 -- Intricacies of Dispute Resolution Clauses in International Business Agreements, Seattle, Washington State Bar Association International Practice Section
  • June 13, 2008 -- How to Survive Residential Construction ADR, Seattle, Washington State Bar Association
  • April 4, 2008 -- Tips for Tailoring an Effective Mediation Settlement Agreement, Seattle, American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, 10th Annual Dispute Resolution Conference
  • December 10, 2007 -- Business Ethics, Seattle, Washington State Bar Association
  • May 11, 2007 -- Class Action Settlement Strategies and Issues, Seattle, Law Seminars International
  • December 7, 2005 -- Techniques for Chairing an Arbitration Panel, Seattle, American Arbitration Association Arbitrator Continuing Education
  • October 12, 2005 -- Effective Arbitration Advocacy, Seattle, American Arbitration Association
  • October 7, 2005 -- Negotiating in the Caucus Stage and Breaking Impasse, Seattle, American Bar Association National Mediation Institute
  • September 23, 2005 -- What you Need to Know About the new Washington Uniform Arbitration Act, Seattle, Washington State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section
  • September 16-17, 2005 --  I am Your Arbitrator: What I Expect From you and What you can Expect From me, Philadelphia PA, American Arbitration Association 2005 Neutrals Conference
  • March 4 and 5, 2005 -- I am Your Arbitrator: What I Expect From you and What you can Expect From me, Palm Springs CA, American Arbitration Association 2005 Neutrals Conference
  • December 1, 2004 -- Award Writing, Seattle, American Arbitration Association Arbitrator Continuing Education
  • November 11, 2004 -- Arbitrator Ethics and Disclosures, Seattle, American Arbitration Association Arbitrator Continuing Education
  • October 12, 2004 -- TenWorst Mistakes Lawyers Make in Arbitration, Seattle, American Arbitration Association
  • June 14, 2004 -- WSBA Fee Arbitration: Arbitrator Training, Seattle, Washington State Bar Association
  • December 8, 2003 -- Arbitrator Update, Seattle, American Arbitration Association
  • April 11, 2003 -- Mediator's Pointers for Lawyers, Seattle, University of Washington Law School and Washington State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, 11th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
  • October 8, 2002, Practice Pointers for Advocates in Mediation, Seattle, King County Bar Association Bankruptcy Section
  • May 7, 2002 -- Minimizing Challenges to Arbitration Awards, Seattle, American Arbitration Association
  • April 4, 2002 -- Addressing Ethical Dilemmas in Court ADR, Seattle, American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, 2002 Court ADR Mini-Conference
  • April 13, 2001 -- Applied ADR in the 21st Century, Seattle, Washington State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section
  • February 24, 2000 -- Preparing for Mediation, Grays Harbor WA, Washington State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section and Grays Harbor County Bar Association
  • October 22, 1999 -- Mediation Roundtable: Early Mediation, Seattle, Federal Bar Association/Western District of Washington
  • September 14 and October 14, 1999 -- Commercial Arbitrator Training, Seattle, American Arbitration Association
  • April 30, 1999 -- Skills Training for Lawyers Advising Clients in Mediation, Seattle, University of Washington Law School and Washington State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, 8th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
  • April 28, 1999 -- Drafting the Dispute Resolution Section of the International Business Contract, Seattle, Washington State Bar Association International Practice Section March 18, 1999 -- Commercial Arbitrator Training, Portland OR, American Arbitration Association
  • March 10, 1999 -- Mediation Roundtable, Seattle, Federal Bar Association/Western District of Washington
  • January 29, 1999 -- ADR in the Business Setting, Seattle,
  • January 20, 1999 -- Commercial Arbitrator Training, Seattle, American Arbitration Association