As state and federal courts struggled with scheduling civil cases amid the COVID-19 pandemic, parties resorted to arbitration to speed up the resolution of their disputes. In an article contributed to Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, Jackson Walker partners Lionel M. Schooler and Luke Gilman discussed the flexibility arbitration offers parties, the logistics of such a procedure, and enforceability of an arbitration award.
“In the context of a global pandemic and a resulting backlog of jury trials in the United States court system, this article explores the potential for employing a private jury system within existing arbitration law to provide a third path for parties seeking an expedient resolution of disputes by juries when impediments exist to jury trial in court. After an introduction and background on the current state of the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and its effect on court backlogs, we outline the law applicable to private jury proceedings, including (a) whether an arbitral award predicated on a private jury determination is enforceable; and (b) the requirements and limitations of a private jury award. We then conclude with a brief analysis of the considerations that parties seeking to employ private jury proceedings might implement to ensure such proceedings lead to a full and fair hearing and an enforceable award.”
To read more, view the article by Lionel M. Schooler and Luke Gilman, Private Juries Within the Arbitration Framework: A Third Path In Dispute Resolution, 21 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J. 457 (2021).