Parties enter into arbitration through a binding contractual provision or by agreement. Some contractual agreements designate the organization that will administer the arbitration, often the American Arbitration Association (AAA).
Deborah Hankinson, who handles our arbitration practice, is an established AAA neutral and also serves as an arbitrator when parties have the ability to, and pursue, an independent pathway for arbitration.
AAA Panels & Leadership
For AAA arbitrations, Deborah serves as a neutral on the following panels:
- Appellate Arbitration
- Commercial Arbitration
- Commercial Large Complex Case Arbitration
- Employment Arbitration
In addition, she is a member of the AAA’s Board of Directors, which is composed of professionals located throughout the United States and overseas. In May of 2015, she was elected to the AAA’s elite Executive Committee, which develops organizational initiatives and strategy and addresses policy matters, finances, and legal developments impacting alternative dispute resolution.
Deborah is an experienced chair of arbitration panels whose opinions are written very clearly and thoroughly address the parties’ contentions. She has led or participated in panels on matters that involve a multiplicity of issues in areas that include:
- Appellate arbitration
- Commercial transactions
In all arbitrations, Deborah listens carefully to the parties’ arguments and gives full consideration to all claims and defenses. She is guided by the foundational precepts of speed, economy, and justice that ensure the overall integrity of the arbitration process.
Training & Speaking
Deborah is highly involved in arbitrator training and regularly speaks on topics related to arbitrations and alternative dispute resolution.
In 2014, she presented two continuing education courses for AAA arbitrators at the AAA offices in Dallas, Texas. The first, which she co-developed, addressed decision-making skills for AAA arbitrators. The second was entitled “Conducting Research and Investigations: The Arbitrator’s Authority.”
Deborah has spoken on many other topics, most recently including:
- Managing the arbitration process at the Oil & Gas Disputes Course (sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and Texas Tech University, 2015);
- The impact of alternative dispute resolution on trade and access to justice at a conference jointly presented by Fordham University School of Law and the AAA (2015);
- The benefit of a judicial presence on arbitration panels at an educational webinar presented by the AAA (2015); and
- The arbitrator’s perspective for oil and gas arbitration (State Bar of Texas 32nd Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course, 2015).