Stolt-Nielsen SA: Prehearing Subpoenas on Third Parties Upheld by Arbitrators

July 17, 2006 Published Work
Reprinted with permission from Franchise Law Journal Winter 2006

One of the biggest complaints about arbitration is the potential for trial by ambush because discovery is often more limited in arbitration that in ordinary civil litigation. Under the American Arbitration Association's Commercial Arbitration Rules, for example, there is no express right to take discovery depositions before arbitration hearings commence. In a similar vein, because arbitral rules regarding prehearing discovery are only binding on the actual parties to the arbitration, it is often difficult to obtain evidence in advance of a hearing from third persons or entities who are not parties to the arbitral proceedings.