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February 16, 2016
Dan Harris Contributes to GAR Panel on Arbitrators’ Technical Knowledge and the Use of Expert Witnesses

Brattle Principal Dan Harris recently participated in a panel discussion on arbitrators and specialized knowledge (energy, construction, finance, and technology) at the Global Arbitration Review (GAR) Abu Dhabi conference.

The event discussed whether tribunals need expertise beyond the laws and procedure, and whether arbitrators get the most out of expert witnesses selected to make up for their limited technical knowledge.

In an article published by GAR detailing the event, Mr. Harris comments on the use of experts by arbitrators, arguing that perhaps they are not used as effectively as they could be. He suggests that in addition to the use of experts at the evidentiary stage, they should also be used during the preparation of awards. “That would enable the arbitrators to focus on the legal part of the award but avoid errors in quantum or other technical matters,” according to Mr. Harris.

Mr. Harris also provided commentary on whether expert witnesses should possess minimum qualifications before being allowed to testify, which he does not find to be necessary since competition among experts, or the “battle of ideas,” is typically a positive facet of arbitration.

For more information on the event, please visit the GAR website.