Arbitration / Training
The Training Course for Case Managers and Arbitrators
Lesson 10 - Arbitration - General Process Overview
The Arbitration Process flow can be split up into several steps:
- Pickup - Accept as Arbitration or Dismiss
- Initialize the case
- Investigation process / Discovery
- Intermediate Rulings
- Urgent action
- Investigation action
- Partial action
- Post Arbitration Notes
1. Pickup - Accept as Arbitration or Dismiss
- The disputes are moved into the Arbitrators queue within OTRS, so they are accessible to potential Case Managers (and Arbitrators)
The Case Managers/Arbitrators team has to pick up the cases transfer them to the Arbitration system within the Wiki.
- The one who transfers the case will become "Initial Case Manager" till another Case Manager is found. Of course the Initial Case Manager may immediately accept the case as (regular) Case Manager.
- The Initial Case Manager has to decide if the case is to be
- dismissed or
- merged with another running Arbitration case (needs consent of the running case's Arbitrator) or
- initiated under its own Arbitration Case Number
- Dismissal at this time is unusual, but might happen if the claim is identical to an earlier case which is already closed ("The answers for the Assurer Challenge can be found on the internet") or if it was incorrectly classified by Triage/Support-Team and can be handled as a standard support case.
2. Initialize the case
The case is initialized by:
- Creating a page in the Wiki for the Case Number
Adding the case to the Arbitrations queue
- Sending a notification to the Arbitrators mailing list that a new case needs Case Manager and/or Arbitrator.
Sending a mail to the Claimant that his case is "in the queue" now. This may be combined with the standard initiating mail (see Lesson 08) if the Initial Case Manager wants to stay Case Manager for the case.
See also Arbitrations/Training/Lesson04 for more details.
3. Investigation, Discovery
transcript from an irc training session
A: arbitration work: what can you do, to get informations about your current running case? to get an overview about the affected topic?
B: starting the search engine and collect informations about still processed cases or look around how such a case will be handled elsewhere?
A: if you do not know anything about your current running case, what is the Arbitrators first step?
B: the 2nd step is to interview Claimant and Respondent (or do you want this as the first step?)
A: ok, step 1, step 2, makes no difference here ... is the topic I have in mind ...
- to interview the dispute filing parties or addtl. parties that can bring in evidence to this case, similar you interview an assuree in an assurance process
A: collect informations by interviews, via email, irc, and so on
A: this is arbitrators tool as long all informations are collected, to get an overview about the running case
A: The next step is to sort the collected informations ... to get an overview if some information is missing
A: If there are more open questions ... restart the interview process .... more questions, more detailed questions ... questions to experts ... research in the internet ... until all open questions you've get answered
A: This can continue for a while in complicated cases until you can come to a ruling
A: Until you come to a ruling, you have also to check policies, manuals and handbooks, sometimes the CAcert mailing list or svn archives, to get a "direction" for your ruling
A: then you sit back, do some rethinking ...
- to sort out again all the collected informations
- to balance out Community's PoV, CAcert's policy PoV, CAcert's reputation
- something forgotten?
- all deliberations done?
- how your ruling will effect eg. CAcert's reputation? Assurance area?
A: here sometimes new questions may araise, that you can solve in a final questionaire
A: to come to a ruling and to publish the ruling
An Intermediate or Partial Ruling is given by an Arbitrator before the case is finished completely to authorise some action.
One type of intermediate ruling authorises a temporary action which will probably be refined or undone once the facts have been evaluated with due care and time.
A typical example for this is the ruling of an urgent action of deactivating of one part of the CAcert website to stop potential exploitation of a security breach.
Starting Investigations by review similar cases
As a good starting point is to review the similar cases list of cases, that still have been processed (to prevent to reinvent the wheel).
If the iCM didn't added a similar cases list yet (see also Lesson 5 - Editing Wiki page for new Arbitration case), its now time to research for old similar cases.
Here you can start with the Category Tags list to step through the listed cases. Pickup one with an existing similar cases block, copy over the block to your current arbitration file. Pickup one the last closed cases, that probably includes a complete list of yet ruled and referenced cases, with many infos about investigations, deliberations, where you get some ideas for your own deliberations to the current running case.
If you decide, to follow one of these cases in the deliberations and discovery process, you can also reference this picked up case for reference in your ruling:
eg. By following the case aYYYYMMDD.# I come to the following ruling ...
you give some or all of the answers to DRP 3.1 (3) The logic of the rules and law. If you find one more topic, that hasn't been undergo a deliberation, you can enhance your deliberations with a reference to an earlier case, to become referenced in future cases.
During investigation of a case you may come to a point where some support action is needed which needs authorisation of an Arbitrator.
For example support has to "hijack" an account to extract information which is only available using this way. Or a SQL query has to be executed on the database.
To authorize such actions you have to give an intermediate ruling, so support can justify the action.
An intermediate ruling can also be given if a case can be split into two or more different aspects and the Arbitrator has come to a conclusion about one of the aspects.
For example the typical "Name in account does not match ID docs" case usually consists of the two aspects:
- (1) "What to do with the name in the account" and
- (2) "What to do with the Assurers who assured the account".
Usually you'll first tackle the aspect how the name in the account should be changed, and if you have come to a conclusion about this, you may give an intermediate ruling to modify the account name (or revoke the Assurances or whatever) so business can continue with this account.
Then you'll have to evaluate whether the Assurers made no mistake (because the rules were unclear), a minor mistake (some things just happen) or a major mistake (this should not have happened!), maybe think about a penalty and discuss it with others, and so on.
When all aspects are finished you should give to the ruling another look and turn it into a final ruling, usually by just modifying the headline.
How can an Arbitrator can come to a ruling?
- The ruling is the decision an Arbitrator has to do.
- The decision is primarily based upon written Policies including Handbooks, Guidances, Subsidiary Policies and other documents that helps to find answers to the questions related to the current arbitration case.
- If Policies aren't written about details, Arbitrator has to ask questions. To find questions that he will answer in the ruling, are an essential part to structure an Arbitration case.
- Finding questions to answer in the ruling is part of the Deliberation, Rationale, Discovery process. An Arbitrator can decide to present his Deliberations to the Arbitration participants as a discussion to get more answers or to get a response, if it is that the parties asked for before finding a final ruling.
- The questions have to be as complete as possible. So if there are open questions or unasked and unanswered questions, the ruling can get appealed or re-opened.
- Also to have in mind about the nature of disputes, that relates to communication problems, or are personally based (check principles!!!).
- A policy breach can be seen under another PoV, if no communication has been established before, to push the policy to the community. That's often a problem in these days, as new policies are written and Assurers didn't heard about the new policies before. So a policy breach needs to be weighted. Did (R) has a chance to become aware about a new policy that was breached ?
- A dispute filing against a policy breach that is not primarily based upon the policy breach but about soft antipathy that relates to principles (i.e. the antipathy new assurers have against the "old" Super-Assurers and vice versa)
From DRP: The Arbitrator records:
- The Identification of the Parties,
- The Facts,
- The logic of the rules and law,
- The directions and actions to be taken by each party (the ruling).
- The date and place that the ruling is rendered.
So therefore the acceptance to CCA and DRP needs to be checked and verified under Section 2 (Init mailing) by the Case Manager / Arbitrator for all Arbitration participants of a case.
- related to the arbitration case content, sometimes actions needs to be taken, that have been ruled by the ruling. i.e. Support: do a change on an account. This needs to be ordered from Case Manager / Arbitrator to Support. So there are some cases that needs some time to be executed: i.e. system implementations through Software-Assessment, Critical Sysadmin team.
- At least the Ruling needs to be notified to the Arbitration participants
- All execution steps have to be recorded in the Execution section of the Arbitration file
- If all execution steps have been executed, the case can be closed.
6. Post Arbitration Notes
- Sometimes it may happens, that another Arbitrator have to ask the Arbitrator of a special case about issues regarding the closed case. Each request needs to be recorded under Post-Arbitration-Notes.
- In precedence cases an arbitrator may rule, that upcoming events following a ruling needs to be recorded with a Support ticket number under the Post-Arbitration-Notes, so that a precedence case following the ruling of a precedence case gets recorded also in the arbitration system. That's to secure a Support-Engineer in his actions taken.
BernhardFröhlich: I have rewritten the paragraph about Intermediate rulings. IMHO other paragraphs also will need some "finishing touches". I'm at it.
Note: Details about Intermediate Ruling and Ruling can be found or should be moved to Lesson 40 - How to come to a Ruling? - this section is only a "General Process Overview"