Latest News

In this space we will periodically post items of interest concerning mediation and arbitration in Guam and the Pacific.

  • The Guam Supreme Court recently issued an Opinion which held, inter alia, that an arbitrator is not disqualified from acting as such due to business relationships unless the party challenging him or her can prove a "reasonable appearance of partiality." That is a lower standard than applies to judges in a court setting. The Court held that an arbitrator should not be disqualified due to his or her connections to others unless there was a "non-trivial" relationship. 
    PAMS takes the position that the rule set forth in the case, Rong Chang Co., Ltd. v.M2P, Inc., 2012 Guam 1, applies a fortiori to mediators as well as arbitrators; and that given the small closely-knit legal community on Guam, isolated relationships between the mediator and parties/ counsel are no basis for disqualification of the mediator.
  • PAMS neutral R. Todd Thompson recently heralded the dawning of a promising new era for mediation in our region in an article entitled, Civil Mediation Arrives on Guam, which is republished here by permission of the Marianas Business Journal.
  • The Supreme Court of Guam has recently held that, generally speaking, the Guam International Arbitration Chapter [Chapter 42-A of Title 7 of the Guam Code Annotated] governs arbitration proceedings conducted in Guam. In Asia Pacific Hotel Guam, Inc. v. Dongbu Insurance Company, Ltd., 2011 Guam 18, the court reversed a lower court ruling confirming an arbitration award, holding that the award was not final or definite for confirmation purposes. The court remanded the matter back to the arbitrators for further proceedings consistent with the court's opinion.