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Ms. Rothman is a very poor business arbitrator. She has made it clear in her writings that she believes the truth is in the middle of a dispute. In business this may sometimes be true, but in a preponderance of cases there is a wronged individual or company. In my case she had to work hard to interpret and manipulate the facts of this case to achieve her desired result in spite of the fact that she determined that the other party breached the contract.
Ms. Rothman lectures on how to keep the costs of arbitration and mediation to a minimum. That was not achieved here. She continually asked for summary briefs from the attorneys for information she had previously been presented. There was a side issue that the parties were unable to agree upon. It amounted to a difference of about eleven hundred dollars. Rather than being the strong third party for which she was paid, she continuously sent the issue back to two attorneys (with a history of no conciliation) to work it out. I believe that I spent over five thousand dollars for a decision that she ultimately was forced to make resulting in a three hundred dollar difference.
Ms. Rothman also gave the other side an opportunity that it didn’t ask for in the determination of attorney’s fees. She reopened the issue after both sides submitted their appropriate briefs and this resulted in another series of briefs once again resulting in thousands of dollars of attorney’s fees. I do not believe that this had any bearing on her final decision, which as I stated earlier I think had been predetermined by her philosophy, but it did enable her to further delay her final decision which, by the way took almost six months after the hearings concluded.
I have become very disenchanted with the legal system. Early on in the process we had a mandatory mediation with a retired judge. Nothing came of this time and expense. In fact, the judge wanted to be out of the mediation by 4:45. By 4:30 he was mentally gone from the conference room. He had been paid until 5:00 and offered no refund.
I will never again sign a contract calling for mandatory arbitration. Arbitrators have absolute authority which is inconsistent with the rest of our legal system. Every other judge has oversight and the prospect of an appeal, and even the decisions of the Supreme Court are made by a panel of nine.
Thank you Avvo for giving me the opportunity to at least post some comments about this arbitrator who by the way is an attorney, not a judge. Avvo has provided me at least some minimal type of ‘judicial review.’
Deborah Rothman would be a good mediator to bring two sides closer. She would be an excellent arbitrator to choose if you are a defendant with a very poor case.