Press Releases

Press ReleaseRetired Federal Chief Judge Donald Black Joins FedArb

October 30, 2019

FedArb is thrilled to announce that Hon. Donald Black (Ret.) has joined the panel. He will be based in California and specialize in appellate, attorney fee/malpractice, business/commercial, civil rights, employment/labor, product liability, real estate and securities/financial service disputes.

Judge Black served for more than 20 years on the Fresno County Superior Court. He was a founding member of Fresno’s direct calendar unlimited civil division, beginning in 2003 and serving in that assignment until his retirement. He was also a member of the Fresno Superior Court Appellate Division and during the last 10 years was the Appellate Division Presiding Judge. Judge Black participated in hundreds of appeals and wrote hundreds of appellate decisions.

He managed a wide variety of cases from the pleading stage of the case through trial. At any given time, Judge Black was responsible for 800 to 1,200 unlimited civil cases. Over the years Judge Black conducted hundreds of law and motion proceedings and settlement conferences and tried hundreds of jury and bench trials.

Judge Black graduated with his A.B. from Middlebury College and earned his J.D. from Santa Clara School of Law.

Press ReleaseRetired Federal Chief Judge Ruben Castillo Joins FedArb

October 1, 2019

FedArb is thrilled to announce that Hon. Ruben Castillo (Ret.) has joined the panel. He will be based in Chicago, New York and Miami.

Judge Castillo served as the chief judge of the Northern District of Illinois from 2013 until 2019. He was also the first Latino federal judge in Illinois. He will specialize in Business/Commercial, Class Actions, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Compliance, Employment/Labor, Internal Investigations and Insurance/Reinsurance disputes.

Prior to serving on the bench, Castillo was regional counsel to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He also practiced in private law for two law firms in Chicago and served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Special Criminal Prosecutions Division for the United States Attorney’s Office – Northern District of Illinois.

Judge Castillo earned his B.A. from Loyola University Chicago and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Press ReleaseFedArb Updates Arbitration Rules

August 27, 2019

FedArb, one of the country’s leading ADR providers, announced today that it has revised and updated its arbitration rules to reflect best practices and critical success factors from hundreds of its own managed arbitrations and “best of” content from law conferences, professional associations and other arbitration groups.

“FedArb continues to listen closely to our clients while constantly reviewing best practices and success factors from a variety of sources, and these updated rules reflect these changes and observations,” said Abe Sofaer, chairman of FedArb. “The new rules are in keeping with our focus of making arbitrations more efficient, effective and a strong alternative to trials.”

Although practitioners will immediately be familiar with the framework and requirements due to their similarities to the arbitration rules of leading companies such as AAA and JAMS, FedArb’s new rules differ in three important ways.

The first is that the default procedures are the same used in the Federal Courts, which have been established and broadly accepted over time.

The second is that FedArb has implemented practices to prevent delays and unnecessary extensions to arbitrations.

“We know deadlines matter, and these updated rules prohibit arbitrators from seeking extensions directly from the parties,” said Kennen D. Hagen, president of FedArb. “Tribunals may only seek an extension from FedArb, who will then contact the parties and communicate their decision back to the tribunal on a blind basis. This new process insulates the parties from possibly denying a tribunal’s request, which could be perceived to have adverse consequences.”

Third is a new process to protect the confidentiality of information in an arbitration. While arbitral proceedings are confidential, a lot of information that litigants want to protect often ends up in the award.

“In our effort to protect that confidentiality, FedArb has created a process that requires the panel to issue an award that includes enough information to enable enforcement and also a separate memorandum that contains the confidential details,” said Hagen. “We think our clients will appreciate this novel approach and it will help keep certain information confidential.”

The new rules also add important features and provisions, including:

  • Streamlined Arbitration Option – provides parties the option of empowering the chair to rule on all discovery and at pre-hearing disputes, potentially reducing expenses and accelerating the timetable
  • Option for Double Blind Process – allows that the wing arbitrators do not know which party selected them
  • Detailed Interim Relief
  • Force Ranked System of selecting one- or three-judge panels
  • Provisions for an Appeal
  • Expedited Disposition accelerates cases involving less than $2 million in controversy
  • Fixed-Price Arbitration – streamlines the process so that the cost and duration of an arbitration is fixed at time of contracting or commencement of proceedings
  • Guidelines for independent online research by arbitrators
  • Improved Confidentiality – creation of a process that allows for the issuance of an Order (specifying just enough to enable international enforcement) and a separate memorandum (in which the confidential details are contained) .

FedArb derived the rule changes from its own observations and experiences, as well as a thorough examination of other sets of rules from providers like UNCITRAL, CPR, SIAC, JAMS, AAA, LCIA, and ICDR. FedArb’s new rules can be found at https://www.fedarb.com/rules/fedarb-rules/.

Read the full Press Release here.

Press ReleaseFedArb Announces that Lloyd’s Market Association New ADR Provision Requires the Chair to Be a Former Federal Court Judge

January 9, 2019

FedArb, a leading Alternative Dispute Resolution firm based in Palo Alto, announces that Lloyd’s has released a Model Arbitration Clause that Provides for Chairperson to be a Retired Federal Court Judge.

On December 20th, Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) published its model arbitration clause (LMA 5344) to its North America Casualty Reinsurance Business panel. FedArb worked with the LMA committee and with numerous brokers and insurers in drafting this model clause. As set forth in the LMA’s press release:

The clause outlines the process and timescales for the administration of alternative dispute resolution including arbitration. Included in the provisions is the requirement that, where an arbitration panel is required, it includes one arbitrator appointed by the reinsured and one arbitrator appointed by the reinsurer(s) (both of whom shall be active or retired officers of insurance or reinsurance companies or Lloyd’s syndicates with no less than ten years experience in the casualty insurance or reinsurance industry). The clause also provides that the third, independent, arbitrator shall be a retired federal court judge.

“Federal court judges are uniquely qualified to Chair arbitrations of complicated international reinsurance disputes,” said FedArb‘s CEO, Kennen D. Hagen. “We started FedArb ten years ago and have assembled a bench of over fifty former federal court judges nationwide–the largest such bench of any ADR provider.”

A copy of the model clause can be found on the NACRBP section of the LMA website as well as the Lloyd’s Wordings Repository.

Read the full Press Release here.

Press ReleaseFedArb Helps Drive International Arbitration in California

July 27, 2018

FedArb, a nation-wide provider of arbitration, mediation, and other services, notes that on July 18, 2018, Governor Brown signed into law SB 766, which allows non-California attorneys to appear in international arbitrations conducted in the State of California. As the Legislative Analyst explains:

This bill would permit an individual who is not admitted to practice law in California but who is a member in good standing of a recognized legal profession in the United States or a foreign jurisdiction and is subject to effective regulation and discipline by a duly constituted professional body or public authority to provide legal services in an international commercial
arbitration or related proceeding, as specified.

We extend our congratulations and thanks to California’s Supreme Court Chief Justice for having appointed a committee to draft and support this important change in the state’s arbitration practice. Daniel Kolkey, Esq. of Gibson Dunn chaired the committee and former federal district judge, Abraham D. Sofaer, Chairman of FedArb, served as a committee member.

This Bill removes an artificial barrier that resulted in many California based companies having to travel to places like Singapore, London and Hong Kong to arbitrate their disputes. “Allowing international practitioners to represent their client’s interests in California arbitrations will help Silicon Valley companies arbitrate their rights in California,” said Kennen Hagen President and CEO of FedArb.

Read the full Press Release here.

Press ReleaseNinth Circuit Confirms FedArb’s Vaughn Walker’s Settlement in HP Autonomy Securities Derivative Litigation

December 12, 2017

Palo Alto, CA December 12, 2017. The Ninth Circuit issued a memorandum opinion affirming the settlement mediated by former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the Northern District of California. Click on this link for the opinion. The settlement arose out of a shareholder derivative action filed in federal court seeking to impose liability on HP’s directors for alleged breaches of the duties owed to shareholders.

The parties–after numerous sessions with former Judge Walker–ultimately agreed to a menu of corporate governance reforms but no monetary settlement. The district court rejected various objections to the settlement and accepted the release clauses after finding that the scope of liability had been “significantly and substantively narrowed.”

“Settling complicated civil litigation is never easy, especially when the stakes are high,” said Ken Hagen, CEO of FedArb. “Fortunately, the litigants in this matter had the expertise of Judge Walker, whose patience and tenacity as well as his mastery of the legal issues at stake, was able to produce a settlement that withstood objections by various of the litigants.”

Press ReleaseFedArb Leads an Arbitration Panel at the 2017 ACC Annual Meeting

November 2, 2017

Federal Arbitration, Inc.’s General Counsel, Marian Scheuer, led a panel titled, “Can Arbitration Clauses Save Money?” at the 2017 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting in Washington DC, Oct 15-18, 2017. The conference is the industry lodestar for in-house counsel, and is well attended by in-house counsel, law firms and contract service providers in the legal industry. The 2017 annual meeting had over 3500 participants. Click on this link for the checklist prepared for the presentation (session #603).

Ms. Scheuer was joined on the 90 minute program by Elizabeth Atlee, SVP & Deputy General Counsel – Global Litigation, CBRE, Inc., Ed Diggs, Senior Counsel and Manager of Claims – Oil, Gas and Chemical, Bechtel Corporation, and Michael Kortbawi, Partner, BSA Ahmad Bin Hazeem from Dubai.

Ken Hagen, President and CEO of FedArb, noted, “It is a vote of confidence in the quality of FedArb as an arbitration company when a global organization like the ACC invites one of our executives to lead a panel. Marian has helped FedArb develop both an outstanding roster of former federal judges, along with other specialized arbitrators, and an administrative team and case management system that attorneys have praised as highly responsive, effective and fair.”