As a judge, you know you have to make decisions. That’s helpful for litigants; having been a judge used to deciding motions probably makes you more prepared than the normal arbitrator to grant relief when it’s appropriate, which saves lawyers a lot of time.
However, you’re under less pressure as an arbitrator than as a judge. I don’t have 300 to 400 cases on my calendar, so I can spend more time working with the lawyers to really clarify the issues. That can help limit the time invested and allow them to better prepare for a hearing.
Arbitration also allows you to have a more collegial atmosphere with lawyers. As a judge, you have to keep a more distant relationship. As an arbitrator, all you have to do is do what you think is the right thing and do your best to make that happen.
— Judge John S. Martin