Jim Groton is a widely-recognized arbitrator and mediator, and an expert in the efficient and economical management of arbitration cases. As an arbitrator he has arbitrated hundreds of commercial and construction cases, usually as chair, under the UNCITRAL Rules, the CPR Rules for Non-Administered Arbitration, and the American Arbitration Association Commercial, Construction and International Rules.
In 1998 Jim was a participant in a landmark arbitration proceeding in where the innovative practices of simultaneous examination of expert witnesses and lay witnesses were first used, along with a number of other innovative case management techniques. (The participants in this arbitration received CPR’s Award for Significant Practical Achievement in Dispute Resolution in 1989.)
He served from 1990 to 2002 on the Board of Directors of the AAA, and he has served for many years as a representative of the American College of Construction Lawyers on the AAA’s National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee which oversees improvements to arbitration rules and other dispute resolution rules and the quality of neutrals on the AAA’s panels. He is a member of the Georgia Arbitrators’ Forum and was President-Elect of that organization in 2009-2010.
He was one of the original authors of the CPR Rules for Non-Administered Arbitration. He has served as a faculty member at many arbitrator training programs, including an AAA Large Complex Case Retreat and Panel Chair Workshop, and an AAA Advanced Arbitrator Training Program. He has frequently spoken on the efficient management of complex arbitrations. and has written extensively on the subject.
Jim has been qualified as an arbitrator with the following professional arbitration organizations and panels:
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators
- CPR Panel of Distinguished Construction Neutrals
- AAA Large Complex Construction Case Panel
- AAA Construction Arbitrator Master Panel
- AAA Commercial Panel
- International Centre for Dispute Resolution panel of International Arbitrators
Awards and commendations for arbitration and mediation work:
Jim was awarded the American Arbitration Association’s Whitney North Seymour, Sr. Arbitration Medal (the AAA’s highest honor) in 1983 for his “outstanding contributions to the responsible use of arbitration.”
In 1989 Jim was a co-recipient of an award from the CPR Institute for “significant practical achievement in alternative dispute resolution,” for his participation in the landmark 1988 arbitration described above.
The lawyer reference book “Who’s Who Legal,” published by the official research partner of the International Bar Association, described Jim in 2007 as a
“spectacular, thoughtful and insightful arbitrator — one of the most nominated individuals in the research … he is practically unbeatable for architectural and construction matters … there are few in the US to match the depth of his knowledge …Groton is a very eminent and profoundly respected figure.”
In 2006 Jim was listed in The Lawdragon List of the 500 Best Judges in America, which described him as
“the busiest mediator in construction law’s epicenter – Atlanta.”
Selected publications, papers and presentations:
“The Arbitrator’s Leadership Role in a Complex Arbitration Case, Construction Superconference programs in New York and San Francisco, 1994
He participated in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Special Fellowship Course at Stanford University in 1997
Co-author of Role of the Panel Chair: Understanding Panel Dynamics, American Arbitration Association, 1999
“Simplifying and Expediting Complex Arbitration Cases,” Center for International Legal Studies, 2003
Contributor to chapters on “Pre-Hearing Management” and “The Hearing on the Merits” in the College of Commercial Arbitrators Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration, Juris Publications, 2006, 2nd edition 2010, 3rd edition 2014.
Chapter on Construction Arbitration in Robert B. von Mehren et al. American Arbitration Principles and Practice, Practicing Law Institute 20o9
Jim was a pioneer in the use of mediation of construction disputes, and he has served as a mediator on many commercial and construction matters throughout the United States since 1983.
He was an early teacher of meditation practices at AAA training programs, and is the author of many articles on mediation, including a chapter on “Getting the Mediation Process Started” in ADR: A Practical Guide to Resolve Construction Disputes, American Arbitration Association 1994; and “Mediation in International Commercial Disputes,” National Law Journal October 5, 1998 (with George Anthony Smith) He participated in AAA Advanced Construction Industry Mediator Training in 1998.