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.