Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



This article deals primarily with the preparation and presentation of a case in labor arbitration. However, much of what is said here is equally applicable to the preparation and presentation of a commercial case. It is clear that the comments with regard to documents, witnesses, orderly presentation, and the like are basically the same whether one is arguing that a construction contract has been breached and that the fault lies with the contractor who was guilty of delayed construction, or whether one is defending against a charge of vio- lation of an overtime clause dealing with equal distribution. In each case the arbitration practitioner must decide whether he, for purposes of clarity, will present the case in an historical, topical or logical order. Sometimes it may be wise, in view of the arbitrators selected, to follow the chronological order. Other times it may be desirable from the nature of the case to break it up into segments and treat each one individually, bringing the case to a close with all of the appropriate factors tied closely together. In any event the same fundamental problems exist. To avoid repetition, this article will concentrate on the labor-management rather than the commercial case. At least four inter-related elements are essential for winning a case in arbitration: (1) a good case to begin with; (2) a good arbitrator; (3) painstaking preparation; and (4) sincere and effective presentation.