New Jersey Arbitration Handbook

The New Jersey Law Journal has published — in both hard copy and e-book formats — the New Jersey Arbitration Handbook, written with assurance and clarity by Hon. William A. Dreier.  It is the single authoritative resource for arbitration practitioners in that jurisdiction.

Judge Dreier combines mastery of the statutory basis for enforceable arbitration with an ease that comes from decades of practice in the field.  He can take both the 30,000-foot view of history and public policy, and also the particular challenges of modern arbitration such as demands for expensive e-discovery and assertions of privilege.

Should witnesses be sequestered in every instance, and if not on what basis should they be permitted to attend?  What is an independent expert, and what makes her independent?  In considering adjournments, what does the arbitrator owe the parties and what does she owe the process itself?  What is the role of the arbitrator in encouraging settlement?

The author is particularly impressive in bringing forward the pliability of arbitration.  Prof. Stipanowich and other leading scholars have frequently bemoaned parties’ reluctance to “customize” this contractually-based process to suit the needs of their particular clients.  What about bounded arbitration?  Advisory arbitration (or Early Neutral Evaluation)? Baseball arbitration?

And what role does arbitration have in non-merchant disputes?  Judge Dreier admirably tackles some cutting-edge issues in New Jersey such as arbitration of matrimonial, probate, custody variance or partition disputes.  He also addresses New Jersey’s peculiar court-annexed arbitration program, though he treats it in a purely informative rather than evaluative manner.  These are areas that cry out for the kind of critical analysis that Judge Dreier is uniquely equipped to provide.

The bar is under pressure to use arbitration in an efficient and professional manner, in order that clients receive the promises of speed, reduced cost and commercial rationality that litigation often denies them.  For attorneys in New Jersey –whether drafting an arbitration clause or executing one — this book is an essential resource.

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