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In each case, arbitrators work with a mix of words, concepts, facts and people, ultimately arriving at a value judgment. Because parties perceive arbitrators as part of the collective bargaining process, “impartial” is a better descriptor than “neutral”. Experience informs arbitrators’ decisions, so complete impartiality in every case is unlikely. Parties consider competence as important …

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The author asserts that the soundness of the arbitration process lies with the advocates as well as the arbitrator, and that arbitrators, in general, do not often commit egregious errors of judgment or ethical breaches.

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Ruminations about ideology, law, and labor arbitration

Examination of (1) whether arbitration is especially vulnerable to pressure incompatible with fair and even-handed dispute resolution; (2) the appropriate role of courts in reviewing arbitration decisions; and (3) the proper role of the arbitrator vis-?-vis statutory or policy issues in interpreting the agreement. Particular emphasis on a critique of arbitration by Judge (and former …

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