Pre-Hearing Techniques to Promote Speed and Cost-Effectiveness-Some Thoughts Concerning Arbitral Process Design

24 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2008

See all articles by Jack J. Coe

Jack J. Coe

Pepperdine University - School of Law

Date Written: November 11, 2008


This essay considers factors and pre-hearing techniques that bear on international arbitration hearings by attempting to answer this question: "What can be done to promote speed and efficiency in the hearing process?" First, it offers general observations, including the goals and by-products of efficiency, issues related to defining terms and frames of reference, the flexibility of arbitration practice techniques, and the role of technology in arbitration proceedings. Then, it discusses specific factors that influence the expeditiousness of arbitration, especially the arbitration clause and its use to define critical elements of the proceedings, such as situs, number of arbitrators, and time restrictions. The article then discusses the effect of oral vs. written submissions (simultaneous or otherwise) and the issuance of post-hearing briefs on the efficiency of the proceedings. This is followed by discussions of the benefits of pre-hearing conferences, issues related to stipulations and presumptions that narrow the scope of the controversy, and the handling of documents, including core collections, agreed bundles, and other documentary consolidations. Next, the article discusses the advantages of adjudicative and collaborative narrowing of the controversy, including bifurcation and summary judgment. The final section briefly discusses the advocate's mantra-hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The article concludes with a bibliography of related sources.

Keywords: hearing, pre-hearing, arbitration, international arbitration, arbitration hearing, speed, efficiency, process, arbitration practice, arbitrator

Suggested Citation

Coe, Jack J., Pre-Hearing Techniques to Promote Speed and Cost-Effectiveness-Some Thoughts Concerning Arbitral Process Design (November 11, 2008). Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, Vol. 2, 2002. Available at SSRN:

Jack J. Coe (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

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