Another overlooked issue in the training of arbitrators is about being timely. It impacts on a number of issues in the conduct of an arbitration hearing.
First; accept your appointment without delay unless there is a conflict issue that requires some investigation on your part – but even here communicate this to the Trade Association or Lawyer or Party who wants to appoint you. Don’t leave matters hanging – be prompt, be active, be respectful.
Second, respond promptly (if you are a winger or Board member), to messages from your Chair. He/She has a big responsibility + wants to move matters forward. Don’t frustrate the Chair by being the last to respond. And if you are late, don’t cite too much work as the reason. If that is the case then decline the appointment. But I have covered this in earlier Posts. Overload is a question of choice.
Third, Tribunal/Board zoom meetings or meetings in person. Work on acquiring a good reputation for being on time – better 5 minutes early than 1 minute late. If trains are uncertain, allow for it and set off earlier. If you are staying in town, work out how long it will take you to get to the hearing and if you need a taxi then investigate their availability the night before. Planning ahead is such an important skill.
Fourth, – and this is obvious – avoid a reputation for being the last Board/Tribunal member to arrive at the Hearing. A few minutes may be forgivable – but longer is disrespectful. “Elephants on the line at East Molseley’ does not work. Take the earlier train + arrive 15 minutes early.
Fifth, – be timely in your response to questions or drafts from the Chair. The Chair has done his/her work and drafted the award or directions and the Chair is entitled to a prompt response. If it is a draft award you have known it is on its way so be prepared.
Am I too tough? Let me know.
16 JUNE. EPISODE 7. PIECING TOGETHER AND MEA CULPA