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Arbitration for the Practitioner.

Arbitration for the Practitioner. By Walter E. Baer.

Jefferson, NC, McFarland Co. , 1988. 152 pp. $24.95. This excellent book's target audience and its paramount philosophy are succinctly stated in its Introduction. It is aimed at "management and union participants . . . [who] don't deal with the intricacies of the arbitration process on a day-to-day basis, but when an issue comes to arbitration, it becomes their responsibility to present their organizations's position effectively and successfully." They are cautioned: "There is no substitute for thorough, comprehensive, detailed preparation. There is no excuse for its lack. The conscientious, dedicated, and determined advocate has learned the importance-in fact, the absolute necessity-of thorough pretrial preparation . . . . cases are seldom if ever won in . . . a hearing room. They are won by the side that has slaved to find all the facts in the case and all its corporal parts, and is fully prepared before any [hearing] begins." To those sentiments every arbitrator will respond: "Amen."

To assist the advocate achieve that goal, Walter E. Baer devotes two chapters to methods and criteria for selecting the arbitrator; one chapter to preparing the case, with emphasis on interviews and preparation of witnesses; a long chapter on "Arbitration and Advocacy," consisting mainly of the "do's" and "don'ts" of direct- and crossexamination; a short chapter entitled "Principles and Practices" covering a variety of questions having to do mostly with procedure and evidence; another long chapter "Concepts-Theories-Issues," which discusses a number of basic substantive and procedural issues; a short chapter on arbitrability; and a page-and-a-half "Conclusion" in which, among other things, the author reiterates his advice, "The sine qua non for success in the field is unflagging industry, in advance and throughout the trial . . . . " Finally, a list of "Citations" by chapter is included, along with a brief and inadequate index. There is no bibliography. Also conspicuous by its absence is any discussion of screening procedures, prior to arbitration, designed to identify and eliminate (through negotiation or withdrawal) cases which should not go to arbitration because they are susceptible to settlement or because they are unwinnable in arbitration. Many companies and unions involve the same persons responsible for arbitration in such screening processes.

There are, of course, other books that cover much the same ground as this one. This book, however, is eminently readable and admirably concise, resulting, with the help of fine print, in a small volume that will travel well. It will probably go along to hearings, while standard reference works, such as Elkouri and Elkouri, remain home. This does not mean the aspiring advocate will not need more detailed reference sources, but if there is a better starting place than Baer's manual, I am not aware of it. It is an impressive effort for which many arbitration participants will be grateful.
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Author:Heliker, George B.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 1988
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