Recently some important information about the UDRP process has come to light. First, domain attorney Zak Muscovitch put out a survey of National Arbitration Forum Panelists. (Available here) Then the good folks at Domain Name Wire did a similar study of WIPO. (Available here) The interesting information from NAF shows the great difference between the amount of cases some Panelists are “assigned” compared with others.
What was most interesting was a simple finding, that out of a possible 141 Panelist, NAF had supplied one Panelist with approximately 966 cases, out of the nearly 10,000 handled by NAF. This equates to nearly 10% of the total case count. Since many in the industry would hope this selection process was random, the numbers tell a different story.
According to the survey done by Muscovitch the following results were supplied (As of March 2010)
The top 10 most active panelists are as follows:
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
The top 10 most active panelists are all from the United States.
Who are the Top 5 Panelists who deny the most claims?
1. David Bernstein 73.7% claims denied
2. David A. Einhorn 70.5% claims denied
3. Gilbert Thornton Cave 66.6% of claims denied
4. G. Gervaise Davis 62.5% claims denied
5. Daniel B. Banks 46.3% claims denied
Who are the Top 5 Panelists who transfer the most claims?
1. Harold Kalina 97.1% claims transferred
2. Ralph Yachnin 95.7% claims transferred
3. Carolyn Marks Johnston 92.7% claims transferred
4. Tyrus R. Atkinson Jr. 92.1% claims transferred
5. Charles K. McCotter Jr. 91.6% claims transferred
Domain Name Wire then came out with a review of WIPO, and even got a response from WIPO regarding their “process” involving the selection of Panelists. The results of this survey seem to show the opposite approach by WIPO, based on the statistics. The survery found as follows:
Top 10 Panelists by Number of Cases
Willoughby, Tony 293
Abbott, Frederick M. 238
Donahey, M. Scott 236
Foster, Dennis A. 204
Barker, Sir Ian 196
Page, Richard W. 196
Limbury, Alan L. 193
Bernstein, David H. 160
Partridge, Mark 158
Perkins, David 157
Domain Name Wire received a written statement from David Roache-Turner, Head of Domain Name Dispute Resolution Section at WIPO. The important take away from this letter follows:
As to WIPO’s own panel appointment considerations, these are informed by a range of highly conservative, legally and ethically responsible factors, including: panel language capability; party and panel nationality; geographic diversity; panel availability; panel experience; jurisdictionally relevant expertise; where possible, prior cases involving parties at issue, and citation in pleadings to previous decisions; and lack of panel conflict as confirmed by declarations of independence and impartiality.
These numbers are telling, and important for an Domain Name practitioner or domain owner, in showing the contrasting nature of NAF and WIPO.