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.

Latest Article

Written 10/18/16

"Discovery" in Arbitration: You Can Almost Always Get the Information You Need

One of the canards I hear frequently about arbitration - always as a reason not to use it - is that discovery is not available in arbitration. Having served as an arbitrator in commercial cases for over 20 years, and as a lawyer trying cases for clients engaged in arbitration over that period as well, I strenuously disagree. That said, it is important to understand that, except for disputes subject to Mandatory Arbitration under the Washington Superior Court MARs, arbitration is a creature of contract, and if the parties' arbitration agreement restricts (or grants) discovery, the arbitrator is obligated to follow their agreement.  Moreover, in most arbitration contexts, the wide-ranging (some would say oppressive and costly) discovery commonly available in court litigation (in the federal arena, at least prior to December 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) is not generally available in arbitration.


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