A recent message from the University of Missouri announced a valuable addition to dispute resolution resources online.

 

In their own words:

The Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law (CSDR) is delighted to announce the launching of ArbitrationInfo.com.  In 2014, faculty at the CSDR and the National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA) began conversations about a possible collaboration on a website that would provide information about labor arbitration. Leadership of the NAA, founded in 1947 as a nonprofit honorary and professional organization of arbitrators in the United States and Canada, was concerned about the manner in which labor arbitration and the arbitration process were being portrayed in the media. With the expansion of the use of arbitration outside the labor area, particularly in consumer and employment disputes, negative descriptions of the process in the media had reached an alarming level. While some of the criticism in these other areas was, and continues to be justified, the NAA feared that such criticism could have a delegitimizing effect with regard to labor arbitration.  Our initial conversations led us to believe that in part some of the press that arbitration was receiving was due to misunderstandings and misinformation about the different contexts in which arbitration was used and the various types of arbitration.

 The website addresses these concerns by providing the public, professionals and the media with a neutral, noncommercial and comprehensive source of information about arbitration. It includes an Arbitration 101 page, which serves as a primer on the arbitration process.  In addition, the site features a list of press contacts who are available to talk to members of the media about arbitration. The website is managed by an editorial board composed of members of the NAA and faculty at the CSDR. Students at the School of Law have the opportunity to develop content for and help maintain the website, in collaboration with distinguished members of the NAA.  Unlike other arbitration-related websites, ArbitrationInfo.com doesn’t generate or funnel business to a particular arbitrator or an arbitration practice group.

 For a short essay describing the origins of the website and an ongoing research project on the subject of the media’s portrayal of arbitration see pages 19-23 of  Explorations in Dispute Resolution Scholarship.

It’s been a constant worry, as legitimate criticism of misapplications of arbitration persist, that the traditional and entirely appropriate use of arbitration becomes marred or, worse, subject to overbroad regulation.  It’s gratifying to know that someone is sticking up for the process as used in familiar and timeworn contexts..

 

F. Peter Phillips is an arbitrator and mediator practicing through Business Conflict Management in Montclair, New Jersey. He is also the Director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills Program at New York Law School where, as Adjunct Professor, he teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution, Negotiation, and International Commercial Dispute Resolution.