Bobby N. Harmon, CPCU, ARM
Louisville, Kentucky 40229-1655
August 8, 2003
VIA fax only @ (559) 490-1919
Ms. Julie A. Schermerhorn, Supervisor, and
Mr. Justin W. Schuck, Case Manager
American Arbitration Association
6795 North Palm Avenue, 2nd Floor
Fresno, California 93704
RE: Mary Lou Woo, Trustee v. Bobby N. Harmon
Case No. 74 166 00491 03 JUSC
Dear Ms. Shermerhorn and Mr. Schuck:
This acknowledges receipt of your letter of August 8, 2003, in which you state:
“This will acknowledge receipt of letters dated August 5, 7, and 8, 2003 from Respondent, copies of which we note were sent to Claimant.
“This will also acknowledge receipt of letters dated August 5, and 7, 2003 from Claimant, copies of which we note were sent to Respondent.
“After careful consideration of the parties’ contentions, the Association has determined that Judith Neustadter, Esq. will be reaffirmed as the arbitrator in the above matter.”
Since you have decided to proceed with the appointment of Ms. Neustadter over my objections, and as you have not provided a specific and reasonable response to my letters of August 5, 7, and 8, I am obliged to contest your decision on the following grounds:
1) According to the AAA’s published National Rules for the Resolution of Employment Disputes, “The AAA’s policy on employment ADR is guided by the state of existing law, as well as its obligation to act in an impartial manner.” It appears, in this case, that the appointment of Ms. Neustadter was entirely for the benefit of the Complainant, Trustee Mary Lou Woo, with no regard for the interests or concerns of the Plaintiff [Respondent].
2) According to the AAA’s Arbitration Disclosure Form, “It is most important that the parties have complete confidence in the arbitrator’s impartiality. Therefore, please disclose any past or present relationship with the parties or their counsel, direct or indirect, whether financial, professional, social or of any other kind. If any relationships arise during the course of the arbitration or if there is any change at any time in the biographical information that you have provided to the AAA, it must also be disclosed. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of disclosure.” I must state the obvious in this case: I do not have complete confidence in Ms. Neustadter’s impartiality for the reasons stated in my previous letters, plus reasons I have not yet disclosed.
3) In you letter of August 4, 2003, you stated that “Ms. Neustadter has accepted the appointment and has no disclosures.” You have not, however, sent me a signed copy of Ms. Neustadter’s disclosure form, as I believe is required in your rules. Would you please fax a copy of this disclosure form, indicating “no disclosures,” as soon as possible.
4) According to the AAA’s published National Rules for the Resolution of Employment Disputes, “Arbitrators serving under these rules shall be experienced in the field of employment law.” Yet, in Ms. Neustadter’s biography, she indicates NO experience with employment cases, and NO employment cases are shown in her Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience. Can you provide further information as to ALL employment cases Ms. Neustadter previously may have handled. In the event there are NONE, then I would again request that Ms. Neustadter be disqualified.
5) Would you please respond to my previous letters dated August 5, 7 and 8, 2003, and provide the rationale for your decision to discount or disregard each specific argument I presented in these letters.
6) Is there a formal protocol for contesting your decision? If there is a prescribed form, would you please send me a copy. To whom am I to direct this correspondence?
Your prompt attention to this matter will be appreciated.
Bobby N. Harmon
cc’s: Steven Guttman, Atty for Mary Lou Woo (via fax only @ 808-529-7177)
Trustees R. Kihune, J. Ing, C. Lau, D. Plotts, N. Thompson, Kamehameha Schools
(via fax only @ 808-523-6313)
P&C Insurance Company c/o Aon (via fax only @ 808-540-4301)
Casimer Fidele, Island Insurance Co. (via fax only @ 808-539-9738)
Matt Tsukazaki, Esq., Torkildson Katz... (via fax only @ 808-523-6001)
Hawaii Atty. Gen. Mark Bennett (via fax only @ 808-586-1239)
Dr. Randy Roth, Office of the Governor (via fax only @ 808-586-0006)
J.P. Schmidt, Hawaii Insurance Commissioner (via fax only @ 808-586-2806)
Janet S. Hughes, Mgr., IRS (via fax only @ 303-844-3596)
This is a leaf from
The Harmon Arbitration
~ ~ ~
To fly to the top of the tree
The Catbird Seat