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The National Law Journal today credited Firm Partners (pictured, from left) Eric A. Sacks, Ross B. Bricker and John F. Ward Jr. with using a creative arbitration procedure to resolve a decade-old patent dispute and net their client, SPX Corporation, an award of $44 million.
The alternative dispute resolution procedure is similar to that used to resolve professional baseball salary disputes, the newspaper notes, in that the arbitrator had to choose between two possible outcomes provided by the parties. Mr. Bricker liked the approach because it eliminated posturing. “This forces you to put up or shut up, and it's final and binding, so it's over,” the National Law Journal quoted Mr. Bricker as saying. "It also ensured that the arbitrator wouldn’t 'split the baby,' a common complaint about arbitration proceedings."
In September, SPX asked for $44 million from the arbitrator, while the opposing party, Snap-on, asked for $3 million. On December 27, SPX was awarded $44 million.