Arbitration Advocacy: New Course and Interview with Karl Bayer & Tracy McCormack

I’m very excited to share the news that we’ve just posted a new course on Arbitrate University from the legendary arbitrators (and arbitration professors) Karl Bayer and Tracy McCormack.

There are a lot of good courses out there on how to be an arbitrator (for example, the great series of classes on Arbitrate University from Professor Ben Davis and Professor Amy Schmitz on how to conduct Online Arbitration, or OArb). But in chatting with Karl and Tracy I identified a gap in online offerings around how to effectively represent parties in arbitration proceedings.

You shouldn’t have to take an arbitration training in order to represent a party in an arbitration — and in fact, a lot of the tools and techniques arbitrators need to master go beyond what an effective counsel needs in order to be successful. Hence the value of this new course, entitled Arbitration Advocacy.

Here’s my short interview with Karl and Tracy about the approach they took for the course and their intended audience:

What’s the goal of these courses?

Tracy: I approached the course from my perspective as a lawyer representing clients in arbitration, my knowledge as a professor and a bit of a “wish list” as an arbitrator. My goal is to help lawyers be better advocates in arbitration. Arbitration plays an increasingly critical role in our judicial system, especially as we manage the backlog of cases from COVID. We need lawyers who fully understand the process and can adequately represent their clients so that the resolutions are just and appropriate.

Karl: I approached the course from the arbitrator’s perspective. Of course, my experience and approach as an arbitrator stems from my years as a trial attorney and court master. Our goal is to provide both basic and nuanced instruction to lawyers. We designed the courses to address not only the “what” of arbitration, but also the “how”. Experienced lawyers will appreciate the “how”.

Who is the intended audience for this course?

Tracy: The classes lend themselves to both the lawyer relatively new to arbitration and the experienced lawyer. While we designed the course primarily for new to mid-level lawyers with a few arbitrations under their belt, I think there are plenty of tips for the highly experienced arbitral lawyer.

Karl: I agree. Many of the lawyers who appear before me will find useful insights into how arbitrators make decisions. We discuss some sophisticated approaches to experts and the presentation of evidence that experienced lawyers will find innovative. The final class on post arbitration proceedings will be very useful to experienced lawyers.

Say I’m a lawyer and I have an arbitration coming up. What will I learn in these classes that will help me?

You will learn everything from how to start an arbitration to how to execute upon an award if you are successful. Not only will you learn the process, but you will learn how to prepare your case and your client for arbitration.  If this is your first time or your tenth, you will pick up tips to make you more effective.

The tone of each class is great — it’s really like being able to sit in on a great discussion for each topic.  What’s your approach in designing each class?

Tracy: I teach for a living, so I think in terms of what questions will people have. How can I prepare and present materials that will help them easily  improve their practice. I thought about the challenges I had representing clients in arbitration and tried to provide solutions to and advice for those challenges.

Karl: I’ve been an arbitrator and special master now for years.  Like Tracy, I thought about common problems, best practices. I wanted each class to feel like you were having your own private session with us.

To learn more about the course, and see a preview of the topics covered in each section, just visit


Colin Rule

Colin Rule is President and CEO of and In 2011 Colin co-founded, an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) provider based in Silicon Valley, which was acquired by Tyler Technologies in 2017. From 2017 to 2020 Colin served as Vice President of ODR at Tyler. From 2003 to 2011…

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