Dispute Resolution Section
December 2013
Save the Date!
Mark your calendars for the following Dispute Resolution Section Event 

Details are subject to change.  Check your emails and the Atlanta Bar Association website for updates.

Dispute Resolution Section Breakfast 
Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 7:30 am
Location: Buckhead Club
Message From the Chair
By Hal Gray, Ragsdale Beals Seigler, Patterson & Gray, LLP

Welcome! I am privileged to serve as the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section for 2013-2014. As this first newsletter is being published a little later than normal, we have already enjoyed three monthly breakfast meetings this Fall. Many thanks to those who have taken time to speak to us - Judson Vaughn of JurisPerfect, Glen Hendrix of Arnall Golden and AtLAS, and Nick Moraitakis of Moraitakis & Kushel and Henning Mediation. We will start our breakfasts back in January and continue through May. As most of you know, our breakfast meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month (calendar permitting!) at the Buckhead Club beginning at 7:30 am. Our speakers go on at 8:00 am and we are through by 9:00 am. Attendance so far has been good, but we could always seat more - so please mark your calendars ahead of time and try to attend the meetings! Attending is a great way to keep up with developments in DR, to share fellowship with other DR practitioners and to pick up a quick (and cheap) hour of CLE.

We welcome input regarding this newsletter. If you have a topic that you would like to address, or a case note (or anything else) you believe to be important to the members of the Section, please contact either Greg Presmanes, the newsletter editor, or me.

On behalf of the Executive Committee and the Section Board, please accept our best wishes for a wonderful Holiday season!


The Arbitration Angle
Arbitrator's Award of Attorney's Fees Affirmed Against Party Seeking Vacatur on Manifest Disregard Grounds
By Robert N. Dokson

Fulton County v. Lord

Georgia Court of Appeals, July 8, 2013; A13A0694; A13A0695; 13 FCDR 2288, http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-court-of-appeals/1637955.html

This case involves a grievance filed against the county under its civil service policy by county law clerks claiming they were unfairly paid less than staff attorneys in the county attorney's office, despite performing similar work. The county board of commissioners had adopted a job pay and classification system. The system rated judicial law clerks & county attorney staff attorneys at identical classification and pay grades. During various periods of time staff attorneys received higher pay via additional 'premium pay' and through an additional pay schedule. The pay differential between the two groups was approximately 36%. The law clerks filed a group pay grievance claiming they were not receiving equal pay for equal work. The grievance claim was denied and that denial was upheld by the county manager.

Arbitrators Beware of Conducting Your Own Legal Research Without Consent of the Parties
By Daniel E. Gulden

Take a look at this article (8 pp.) from the May 2013 NY State Bar Assn. Journal titled "Can an Arbitrator Conduct Independent Legal Research? If Not, why Not?" by Paul Bennet Marrow. It can be found at http://marrowlaw.com/. The author advises getting consent of the parties before conducting your own independent legal research, because the scope of the arbitration is controlled by the contract entered into between the parties, unlike courts, where their decisions can be binding on other parties and courts. He suggests rereading the last three paragraphs for those who just say "Why Not?"
Case Watch for Arbitrators: Court of Appeals Decision out of Step on Arbitration
By John Allgood

In July, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a disturbing decision that is decidedly at odds with the arbitration-friendly precedents of Georgia courts and of the U.S. Supreme Court. How disturbing? I will count the ways. But first, the facts of the case.

In Miller v. GGNSC Atlanta, LLC, A13A0061; A13A0062 (7/16/2013), the plaintiff entered into an agreement for services to be provided by the Golden Living Center-Northside, a nursing and convalescent center. At admission, the parties executed an arbitration agreement that incorporated the rules of the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) Code of Procedure and included a provision that any claim arising out of the admission agreement or services provided would be resolved exclusively through binding arbitration. Importantly, the agreement also contained a provision to sever any portion of the agreement that was unenforceable.

Mediation Moment
8 Top Mobile Apps For Mediators
By Alexander Stuehr

Here are 8 Top Apps for Mediators and other ADR professionals that you can download and begin using today!

SignEasy: iOS
SignNow: Android
That's right! Receive, sign, send, and edit PDF, Excel, Word, and e-mails documents securely and in just a few easy steps with these apps, there's no more waiting for FedEx!

Box.net: iOS/Android
Most people have heard of DropBox while Box.net (or just "Box") gives you more space, (5GB vs 2GB) free and users report faster access times as well. Try it!

Stop asking your participants if you can borrow a pen. EVERNOTE let's you take notes, create to-do lists, voice memos, reminders, sync with other devices and share projects with colleagues all from your iOS/Android device. Also, makes a great trip planner!

In This Issue
2013-2014 Section Board of Directors

Herbert H. (Hal) Gray III

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Rex D. Smith

John F. Allgood

Immediate Past Chair
Emory Speer Mabry III

Members at Large
William B. Barrickman
William Beringer
Cicely Breckenridge
Hala Carey
Terrence L. Croft
William S. Goodman
Halsey G. Knapp Jr.
David C. Nutter
Gregory T. Presmanes
Tanya Tate
Follow Us

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn
The Section Thanks its Annual Sponsors