The golden rule for a trial attorney is "know your judge." This maxim also applies to domain name disputes where the UDRP Panel, who acts as the judge, can determine whether or not you win. As such, parties involved in domain name dispute resolution should be aware of how the panels work, how you have the right to select how many panelists handle your case, and how you can ultimately affect which particular panelist is selected.
The most common misunderstanding with those unfamiliar with the UDRP is how selecting a three person panel, as opposed to a single panelist, may affect the outcome of the decision. Intrinsic in the three-member panel is the process affording each party the right to select one panelist with the third being selected by the provider from a list approved by both parties. Regardless, it is important to be able to recognize which prior decisions are favorable to your particular facts and circumstances and then identify the panelist(s) that delivered those decisions. Just as important, if not even more critical, is the ability to shield panelists with views opposed to your position from serving on the panel handling your particular domain dispute. It is important to note that should you decide to select three panelists and pay the additional fee, you can change your mind and select one panelist and get a refund if done in a timely and proper way. While both WIPO and NAF provide a list of panelists, the key is being able to understand where those panelists stand on particular issues that arise within a domain dispute; an issue that may control whether or not your goals are achieved. See the list of panelists at both WIPO and NAF below:
WIPO’s list of panelists. http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/panel.html#1
NAF’s list of panelists. http://www.domains.adrforum.com/panel.aspx
Ultimately, law firms experienced in the UDRP are more educated and better-equipped to select a list of panelists that will best serve your purpose given the unique set of facts. In addition, they can also advise you as to the amount of risk, which may affect choosing a three person panel over a single panelist, given your particular situation. You can contact us today if you would like us to assist you in filing a complaint, responding to a complaint, or simply navigating your way through the UDRP.