Top Ten Mistakes Lawyers Make In Arbitration And Tips on How to Avoid Them!

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"For over 20 years I have presided over or participated as a panelist in hundreds of arbitrations.  Those experiences have shown me the good, the bad and the ugly.  Quite frankly, there are many more seriously egregious mistakes I have seen lawyers make; it was difficult to pare this list down to 10."  Author Phil Cutler of Cutler Nylander & Hayton PS

#10 – Play Games:  Engage in Cheap Games and Discovery Abuse; Continue Gamesmanship During the Hearing

#9 – Display Anger, Animosity and Rudeness:  Personalize Everything; Engage in Ad Hominem Attacks

#8 – Overuse or Misuse Technology:  Use Fancy but Unnecessary Technological or Demonstrative Aids; Fail to Know how to use Them

#7 – Waste Opportunities to Persuade the Arbitrator:  Assume the Arbitrator Shares Your Knowledge of the Case; Fail to Analyze, Distill and Organize Your Case; File Long and Unpersuasive Briefs

#6 – Ask Inappropriate Questions; Fail to Pick up on an Opportunity to Deal   With Something the Arbitrator views as Important; Ignore a Witness’s Non-Responsive Answer:  Ask Questions That are not Really Questions or ask Overly Legalistic Questions of a Lay Witness; Rebuff Questions from the Arbitrator

#5 – Assume the Evidentiary Rules in Arbitration are the Same as Those in Court:  Fail to Take the Time to Understand the Rules of Evidence; Make Numerous and Ineffective Evidentiary Objections

#4 – Misuse Cross-Examination of Witnesses:  Try and use Cross to Prove Your Case in Chief; Fail to Plan Cross Before the Hearing

#3 – Continue Blithely on, Ignoring What Common Sense Tells (or Should Tell) You:  Fail to Know When to Stop; Treat the Arbitrator as an Unsophisticated Rube

#2 – Make it Difficult for the Arbitrator to Rule in Your Client’s Favor:  Fail to Organize Your Case and get Your Client’s Story Across

#1 – Fail to Tell the Arbitrator Exactly What Your Client Wants:  Don’t Tell her, Keep it a Secret; Hope the Arbitrator “gets it” by Osmosis

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