New York Arbitration Week

November 13-17, 2023

Virtual Hot Tubbing – Panel-Appointed Experts: Arbitrators Debate, You Decide

Program Host: Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center
When: Thursday, November 19, 2020 3:30-4:30 p.m.



The handling of experts in arbitrations can be challenging. World-class neutrals in the high technology area will discuss two hot issues in the use of experts – the use of “hot tubbing” and whether to rely on tribunal appointed experts.

The presentation will consist of two lively debates in an Oxford type format:

  • Resolved, Hot-Tubbing of Expert Witnesses Cannot be Effective in the Virtual Environment
  • Resolved, Experts Should be Impartial and the Tribunal Should Appoint Them


All panelists/debaters are on SVAMC’s 2020 Tech List of the world’s leading technology neutrals.

  • Moderator: Thomas D. Halket – Tom is an independent arbitrator and Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School where he teaches courses on International Arbitration Law, Commercial Technology, Licensing, and Entrepreneurship.  He was previously the co-partner in charge of Bingham McCutchen’s Commercial Technology Practice and Co-Chair of the Technology and the Emerging Company Group of Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP.  Tom is a past President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, and a past Chair of the ABA’s Section of Science and Technology.
  • Merriann Panarella – Merriann is an independent arbitrator and mediator who practices both in New York and Boston. She was formerly a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr for over 25 years where she served as trial counsel and advised technology clients on the litigation process.   She has served as an arbitrator in numerous matters including collaboration and licensing, patent infringement, medical device, and pharmaceutical disputes. She is certified by WIPO to mediate IP disputes, is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and is on the CIArb Approved Faculty List.  She writes and lectures frequently on IP and ADR matters. 
  • Alexander Blumrosen-Alex is the founding partner of Polaris Law in Paris, France, and is admitted to practice in both Paris and New York. He regularly appears as counsel to parties, or arbitrator, in commercial,  patent, and trademark matters.  He has particular expertise regarding IT licensing, distribution, joint venture, and the regulation of encryption technology.  He is the former Chair of the Arbitration Committee of the ABA, former  President of the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw,) and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Laura A. Kaster– Laura is a full-time neutral handling a wide variety of complex commercial and intellectual property disputes. She is Chair of the NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section.  In 2018, she received the award for Excellence in ADR from the first ADR Inn of Court, and in 2014, she received the NJSBA’s Boskey Award for ADR Practitioner of the year.  She is on the AAA, Master Mediators Panel, and listed Who’s Who Legal, Mediation. She is a Fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators and on the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.  Before becoming a full-time neutral she was Chief Litigation counsel for AT&T Corporation and AT&T Labs and prior to that a partner at Jenner & Block.
  • Thomas Creel – Tom is a neutral with JAMS. He has been an active arbitrator in IP and technology cases for over three decades. He has been recognized in Super Lawyers as an arbitrator and has been selected by Federal Judges to be a Special Master in various patent infringement matters.  He is the editor of the book, “The Guide To Patent Arbitration” from BNA Books, author of the PLI treatise Patent Claim Construction and Markman Hearings, and has co-taught the basic patent and trade secret at Columbia Law School for over 20 years.  He was formerly the Chair of the IP Litigation Practice Group at Goodwin Procter and Co-Chair of the Patent Litigation Group at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hayes & Handler.