Arbitration Tips-N-Tools (TNT): Round 13

In this round of Arbitration Tips-N-Tools, Professor Amy Schmitz asks some of the leading arbitration practitioners about advice for attorneys representing parties in an online arbitration (OArb), especially in a digital world and faced with the complexities of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Round 13: What advice do you have for attorneys representing parties in OArb (online arbitration) – list your top 3?


A) Deborah Hylton

  1. Look at the camera for good eye contact.
  2. Spend time in advance considering the arbitrator’s experience and make sure your presentation is tailored to that.
  3. Make sure the arbitrator has a second screen for exhibits and take full advantage of the “share screen” and similar features to highlight what is there.

B) Marsha Ternus

  1. Practice using the platform and have a practice session with your clients so they are also comfortable with the technology.
  2. Be sure you, your clients, and witnesses have appropriate lighting so your faces are not in shadows and that the camera is close enough and at a straightforward angle so your faces can be easily seen (don’t use a conference room camera that shows you seated at the other end of the conference table).
  3. Determine how you and your client will communicate if you are participating from different locations.

C) Michael Pitton

  1. Knowledge of virtual techniques is a must.
  2. Submit exhibits and arbitration booklets well in advance of the hearing.
  3. Coordinate witnesses ahead of time, provide links and an opportunity to test them out, and options for participation of witnesses by other means if a Plan B is required (e.g. phone conference, etc.)

Michael Pitton

Michael Pitton has been an experienced arbitrator since 1997, is AV-rated, admitted to practice in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, and is included in the nationwide Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He has also been a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Iowa College of Law for more…


Deborah Hylton

Deborah is an experienced arbitrator, mediator and conflict engagement specialist with practical business experience, legal skills and financial acumen. She is also has served as transactional lawyer, CEO, board chair, board member, restructuring officer and corporate governance expert. She is a problem-solver by nature and practice. Her background offers a…


Marsha Ternus

Background and Education. Marsha Ternus is a native of Iowa, growing up on a farm in northern Benton County. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors and high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Iowa in 1972. She earned her law degree with honors, Order of the Coif,…


Amy Schmitz

Professor Amy Schmitz joined the University of Missouri School of Law and the Center for Dispute Resolution as the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law in 2016. Previously she was a Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law for over 16 years. Prior to teaching, Professor…

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