Study sheds light on potentially biased appointment of UDRP arbitrators.
For the past few weeks I’ve been working with an outside party to analyze the distribution of WIPO cases amongst arbitrators. Now attorney Zak Muscovitch has beaten me to it with National Arbitration Forum data.
For those that follow NAF cases, you won’t be surprised to learn what Muscovitch discovered. But it’s still startling.
One controversial panelist has heard about 10% of all cases: Carolyn Marks Johnson. Muscovitch’s study revealed she has handled 966 cases at NAF. I’m not sure how much NAF pays panelists, but competitor WIPO pays single member panels $1,000. Although earlier fees were lower, this means Johnson may be closing in on $1 million in fees for being an NAF panelist.
So why does NAF select Johnson so often? Perhaps it’s because she ranks #3 in likelihood to find in favor of the complainant. According to the study she finds for the complainant 92.7% of the time. Finding in favor of the complainant helps NAF get more customers, as the complainant chooses the UDRP provider.
In fact, the 5 panelists who transfer the highest percentage of domain names are all ranked in the top 10 for being appointed as panelists by NAF. None of the five panelists who decline the most claims are ranked in the top 10.
Why case assignment shouldn’t be random is beyond me.
Here are the top 10 most frequently appointed arbitrators at NAF:
1. Carolyn Marks Johnson with 966 cases 10% of total cases
2. James A. Carmody with 889 cases 9.4% of total cases
3. Charles K. McCotter Jr. with 818 cases 8.6% of total cases
4. Ralph Yachnin with 720 cases 7.6% of total cases
5. Tyrus R. Atkinson Jr. with 623 cases 6.5% of total cases
6. Karl V. Fink with 499 cases 5.2% of total cases
7. John J. Upchurch with 478 cases 5% of total cases
8. Harold Kalina with 460 cases 4.8 % of total cases
9. Paul Dorf with 440 cases 4.6 % of total cases
10. Louis E. Condon with 437 cases 4.6% of total cases
You can see the rest of the startling data here.
Great stuff guys. Way to go. 🙂
The only question is is why did I sit around complaining for so long without looking at the data like you guys did? This should have been done a year or two ago by the ICA at the very least.
Thanks for putting it together Zak! This sheds some big light on the situation.
Great stuff. The crime is finally unveiled. This is Criminal. NatARb is a total scam. And Domainers are footing the bill with reverse domain hijackings.
I wonder if this will ultimately lead to them pulling out of UDPR domain arbitrations like they did for credit cards in Minnesota.
They got pummeled by the Minnesota Attorney General for running a corportate shell game of debt collection related companies which owned interest in the NAF, and by whereby were totally biased towards favoring the credit card companies in the disputes since they paid the arbitration fees to the NAF…..kind of like the debt collection business. 🙂
If anyone noticed the NAF settled that case very quickly to protect their very lucative “pro-arbitration” business that thrives on fees, in warranted cases or not.
It’s all greed and no justice with the NAF, at least if you go by the Minnesota case and this report. Just go look at how they trampled over credit card holder’s of those in the Minnesota case. It’s amazing.
It’s just business as usual…..they are like a bunch of powerful, crooked cops.
Re: Carolyn Marks Johnson, it’s worth reposting from last July’s thread:
From the book “Out of Order” by Max Boot, ISBN 0465053750, page 186 regarding Carolyn Marks Johnson:
“In a 1995 Houston Bar Association survey, she received the second-highest ‘poor’ rating among the nineteen state civil district court judges in Houston.”
There’s over 10 pages in the book devoted to her shenanigans.
And as Andrew followed up:
SL – the very sentence before that: “It is undeniable that since her appointment, Judge Johnson has acquired a reputation among local lawyers as a plaintiff’s judge, not a fair judge.”
Btw, your data would be a nice confirmation of the trend.
Thanks for the data says
Your researcher did an excellent job.
Here is some other ways of looking at the data.
The top 5 panelist represent 3.5% of the total 141 panelist. However, they handled 42.4% of the cases.
The top 10 panelist represent 7.1% of the total panelist. They handled 70% of the cases.
Out of the 9,400 cases which resulted in a transfer or denial of transfer, 84.5% were transferred. 15.5% were not.
I only came up with 140 panelist listed on the your spreadsheet.
Countries with the most panelist
USA….. 76… 54.3%
Korea… 7…. 5.0%
Canada.. 4…. 2.9%
Spain… 4…. 2.9%
Australia. 3…. 2.1%
Brazil.. 3…. 2.1%
Columbia. 3…. 2.1%
France.. 3…. 2.1%
73.6% of the total panelist.
And, 96% of the total cases.
The remaining 26 countries with panelist 26.4% And, 4% of the total cases.
I wonder if the above percentages correspond to the Int’l Trademark Assn. membership?
Thanks for the data says
Forgot to include this data.
country – panelist – cases – % of cases
USA….. 76 8701 91.9%
Korea… 7 36 0.4%
Canada.. 4 100 1.1%
Spain… 4 32 0.3%
Australia 3 136 1.4%
Brazil.. 3 12 0.1%
Columbia 3 23 0.2%
France.. 3 11 0.1%
Andrew, you might want to take a look at this scraper here who copies/pastes full articles:
Zak Muscovitch says
I love how you have taken the raw data and interpreted it in new, important, and useful ways! There is a treasure trove of data available from the last 10 years of decision making and I hope the domain name community starts to digest the data and see where it leads. There are soooo many questions to ask based on the available date.
George Kirikos says
Good work, Zak. I’ve proposed multiple times that the UDRP providers be compelled to publish their decisions in XML format, to allow academics, researchers and republishers to more easily synethesize all the data. Of course, ICANN ignores these obvious common sense proposals.
Amazing Million says
It’s all about the money… just like everything else. These are real cases and should be treated like real legal cases – fairly! There’s quite a bit of shadiness going on here that needs a light shined on it. Who’s going to do it? ICANN? Yeah, right…
so is anyone complaining to ICANN or what???
What ever happened with this?
It’s like showing the cops the murderer, giving them irrefutable proof, and yet they turn their back on it.
ICANN !!!!!!!!!!! Hello!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone at ICANN know how to set some new rules for the NAF and WIPO ?
What gives? ICANN, are you corrupted or just grossly negligent ?