I wrote last month that it was not looking good for the folks who advocate for an all-public arbitration panel. But I knew I had to wait until the publication of the year-end figures to be sure. And now I’m sure, at least for this year. Here they are. The percentages remain unchanged. Nine “all-public” cases and five “majority public” cases were decided in December. The results did not change the percentages.
I repeat. This turned out to be window dressing. Of course, there could be any number of factors that resulted in skewed results in favor or opposition to my assertion. But the fact remains that the “win” rate for customers is statistically even regardless of the panel composition in the year 2013. Keep in mind that, for the most part, these would be panels that were selected in 2012.
But I have said before, I do not draw huge conclusions from this. There are too many variables to beat my chest and say “I was right” no matter how tempted I may be. But the fact remains that the PIABA folks will now say that the system is unfair simply because it exists. I’m reminded of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So reminded, in fact, that I am putting it here. Make sure to click on the image to get the full clip.
When you hear or read someone say “Arbitration is still unfair, no matter what the statistics” just say in your head “I’ll bite your legs off.”
That’s the view of one lawyer in Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida. I’m Marc Dobin (and not the Black Knight).