It probably depends on your perceived value of the domain.
There are some loose cannons at WIPO, but it's hard to say what the chances are of them screwing things up for you without knowing some specifics. You don't have to mention the domain, but it would be nice to know the general story...
Or you can skip UDRP and go straight to filing a lawsuit against the registrant. An uncommon tactic, but it happens.
UDRP is optional; usually the ideal method though, since it's typically cheaper and faster than filing a lawsuit.
Regardless of the outcome of an UDRP challenge, both parties still have the option of going the lawsuit route.
IMHO, if your case is very strong (ie. 2nd level part of domain same as registered TM and domain clearly being used in bad faith), it's likely that even a respondent-friendly arbitrator will rule in your favor. And in the unlikely event they don't, you can then go the lawsuit route.
This comment interests me. I will give more specifics about the back story in a bit - - - but why would the perceived value of the domain effect your strategy of using a 3 person or not ? Lets assume the perceived value of the domain is high..
Consult with an experienced lawyer. They should be able to help you map out a winning strategy...
Many disputes aren't brought with an end goal of transfer and development.
If WalMart for some reason isn't awarded WalMartIsTheCheapest.org, it isn't the end of the world. But if Acme Widgets has been around for decades, it would sting if they were not awarded AcmeWidgets.com and it may be a good idea to use the 3 person panel if they are willing to spend the extra money...
Yuh. Beginnning to think a 3 panel is the way to go. 1 Person seems too risky. Now I just need to find an attorney...
EDITED: Changes are highlighted. In short, for a 1 person panel, the complainant chooses the provider, but not the actual panelist.
To directly answer your question, 1 panelist is usually better, since you can choose the arbitration provider and the panelist who will hear the case.
In contrast, for the respondent, it's often better to go with 3. There are exceptions to that, such as if the respondent believes their case is very strong and/or believes the 1 panelist chosen by the selected arbitration provider is likely to rule in their favor despite being selected by the complainant. Some panelists, while well aware of who pays the bulk of the bills, try to be fair in their rulings.
For the complainant, going with 3 can be potentially risky due to the selection procedure that takes place - the complainant nominates 3 panelists for the provider to choose 1 from, the respondent does likewise, and the provider chooses 1, with input from both sides, to preside over the 3 person panel.
While it's possible to research providers and panelists yourself (read past UDRP cases; google around), it's often better to hire an attorney experienced with UDRP and domain name related matters to do that, since a panelist who seems unsuitable may be for your case or vice-versa.
If you're having trouble getting in contact with an attorney shown in the sticky, try calling them too - will help to express a willingness to pay for an hour of consulting time, etc upfront and/or putting up a deposit / retainer ... money usually gets their attention.
Hi Ron -.
Thank you for responding to my question so directly and so thoughtfully. It is very much appreciated.
I was not aware that the Complaintant could choose the single panelist. I had thought the single panelist was selected randomnly.
Wow !!! Do I understand you correctly - namely that my attorney can directly pick the Panelist we want to hear the case ?
Partly right but also partly wrong.
While the complainant certainly can choose whatever provider they wish, it is the provider that selects the single panelist, NOT the complainant. see above...
Thanks Guys. Ok, I am back towards leaning to selecting a 3 person panel. I will try to reach Mr. Berryhill or another lawyer...
Thanks for catching that; I've updated my post. Not sure why I was thinking they could choose the particular panelist, which as you point out is incorrect.
With that said, when using a 1 person panel, are there many instances of the complainant successfully challenging the provider's selection, and getting a different panelist substituted?.
Are there other ways, when using a 1 person panel, of effectively narrowing down the field of panelists? ... such as to the point, that in effect, the complainant can practically, though not literally, choose the panelist.
I don't believe so. I think that the option to request a 3 person panel comes after the primary panelist is selected and both the complainant and the respondent have input on choosing those, 1 for each of them, with the original panelist selected by the provider as the third. ICANN spells this out pretty clearly in the rules for the UDRP process. I don't recall any mechanism for challenging a panelist selection either.
So, there is no way for the complainant to really have any power over the initial panelist selection other than choosing a provider like NAF whose panelists unabashedly favor complainants anyway...
Are you alluding to the WIPO and/or NAF rule that allows Complaintant to challenge the appointment of a particular panelist ? I know the rule exists. If so, how much latitude does NAF or WIPO allow for a party to challenge a particular panelist? I would guess it is only "with cause" - and I don't know how that practically is applied...
Yes, that's what I'm alluding to. Wondering how often that happens, and how much of an influence the complainant can have in selecting the substitute.
Here is the rules from WIPO: You're not likely to gain any traction challenging a panelist because you think they might actually be impartial and not automatically biased in your favor.
Seriously, if your complaint really does have merit, why bother with all the posturing? Just get an attorney to format and file it. The only reason I can think of for all this maneuvering around is that you don't really have a clear cut case and are trying to manipulate the proceeding to make up for that.
Your attorney is the one you need to be listening to on this, not us...
Thanks for the help fellas. I spoke to several attorneys today. There seems to be lots of information to come up with the correct strategy. I am going to take the advice of the above poster and let my attorney advise me from here on out. Thanks..