Introduction and Consent Form

I would like to invite you to complete a survey that will form part of a research project that I am conducting in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law, where I am a senior faculty member.  The project seeks to improve our understanding of how judges and arbitrators resolve complex commercial disputes in both national and international settings.   If you have acted as a judge or as an arbitrator in either a domestic or cross-border commercial dispute, I am interested in your thoughts.

The research focuses on legal reasoning and how judges and arbitrators write reasoned decisions and awards.  The data generated by this project will help parties make more informed choices about whether to have their commercial disputes resolved in litigation or arbitration and will help identify how providers of judicial and arbitral education can better meet the educational needs of judges and arbitrators.

The survey includes questions on the following issues:
  • general, non-identifying information about respondents (demographics);
  • use of legal authorities;
  • consideration of factual and evidentiary issues;
  • approach to legal reasoning;
  • drafting reasoned decisions or awards; and
  • judicial and arbitral education involving legal reasoning.
The sensitive nature of this topic may cause some concerns about confidentiality.  Please be assured that this survey is entirely anonymous, and there is no way that I can identify you unless you make your identity known through specific comments.  In order to further ensure the confidentiality of the process, I will also ask you not to mention your or anyone else’s name in any written comments.  In any publications or presentations based on this research, I will not disclose any personally identifying information that may be provided.

The survey is comprised of 73 questions, although not all participants will answer all questions. You can expect to answer approximately 50-60 questions out of the total of 73, including a number of questions concerning demographics. It should take you approximately 20 minutes to complete the survey.  Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary, and you may stop at any time.  If you cannot complete the survey in one sitting, you may return to the survey at a later date/time. However, you must hit "next" at the bottom of the page to save the material on that page and you must log in at the same computer to access your saved material.  The survey will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) on Monday, May 1, 2018.
The study is funded in part by the American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is separate from both the AAA and the ICDR. Although the AAA-ICDR Foundation provided funding for certain aspects of this research, the Foundation is in no way involved in the design, content or analysis of the survey.

If you have any questions about this project, you can contact me at +1-573-882-2465 or If you have any questions about your rights as a research subject, you can contact the University of Missouri Campus Institutional Review Board at +1-573-882-9585 or

Please feel free to forward the link to this survey ( ) to colleagues who have acted as judges or arbitrators in commercial matters at either the national or international level.

Thank you in advance for your insights into these important issues. 

Kind regards,

Prof. S.I. Strong, J.D., Ph.D.
Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law
University of Missouri School of Law
Columbia, MO  65211 USA
Telephone:  +1-573-882-2465

Campus IRB Approved Date: January 16, 2018
Project Number: 2010449C