A Conversation: Tips For Advocating Before Arbitrators & Tips For Arbitrating Before Advocates


March 5, 2024    
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Bookings closed


Hosted by LERA national, Online, Via Zoom
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A Conversation: Tips For Advocating Before Arbitrators & Tips For Arbitrating Before Advocates

Three experienced neutrals will discuss what makes a winning case and what pitfalls to avoid. Learn procedural and substantive pointers from the hundreds of cases they have heard and decided. The speakers are anxious to hear and discuss advocates’ insights on what they do and do not want from arbitrators. Audience members’ questions, comments, and input will be strongly encouraged.


James M. Darby

James M. Darby, Esq. has over 40 years of experience in the field of labor and employment, the last 20 as a full-time arbitrator and mediator. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and has arbitrated labor and employment cases in a wide variety of industries, including Major League Baseball, telecommunications, public utilities, railroad, airline, health care, education and municipal police/fire. Additionally, in 2005 Jim was nominated by the Governor and unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate to serve as a Member of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, and since 2017 has served as its Chairman. Jim graduated summa cum laude from the University of Scranton and received his J.D. with honors from St. John’s University School of Law in 1984. Jim has worked for the National Labor Relations Board as Board Staff and Appellate Court Counsel, as Associate General Counsel for the Transportation Communications International Union and headed the management-side labor and employment law section at Kegel, Chesters & Miller in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Additionally, during his career Jim has held several senior executive positions in state government, including Deputy Counsel and Special Assistant to Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey. He also served as Pennsylvania Deputy Auditor General/Chief Counsel and Pennsylvania Deputy State Treasurer/Chief Counsel, overseeing all labor relations and human resource functions for these two large state agencies.

Kathleen Spilker - Arbitrator - Kathleen Jones Spilker, Arbitrator | LinkedIn

Kathleen Jones Spilker, Esq. has served as a full-time arbitrator since 1980. She has arbitrated numerous labor and employment cases in both the public and private sectors by appointment through Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, American Arbitration Association, state panels, as well as ad hoc appointments. She also has served on a number of permanent panels, including Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, US Postal Service, United Mine Workers of America, and the US Department of Labor. Arbitrator Spilker worked as an Instructor at Central Pennsylvania College, where she taught Labor and Employment Relations and Collective Bargaining. She also served as Labor Relations Staff Representative at Westinghouse Corp. Elevator Division in Randolph, NJ, where she assisted in negotiating the local agreement with IBEW employees who were involved in building the Atlantic City casinos. Ms. Spilker is listed on the roster of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, National Mediation Board, NJ Public Employee Relations Board, FINRA, NFA and AHLA. She is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, LERA and the American Bar Association. Ms. Spilker received her undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1975. She graduated summa cum laude, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. A native of Pittsburgh, she earned her JD with a concentration in labor and employment law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1978. Ms. Spilker was admitted to the PA Bar in 1979, and she formerly served as Director of the Lawyer Dispute Resolution Program sponsored by the PA Bar Association. Ms. Spilker maintains her office in Camp Hill. She and her husband Lawrence (Spike) who is also an arbitrator, have been married for 40 years and are the parents of three wonderful children.


John T. Marchetto, Esq. began his labor arbitration practice in 2018, after more than 27 years of public and private sector labor and employment experience. Prior to becoming a labor arbitrator, he began his career as vice-president of International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker’s Local Union 1560, in which he served for more than 10 years. During this time, he attended Temple University School of Law and received his juris doctorate. Thereafter, he practiced law in the private sector before being appointed Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Allentown and finished his public sector career service as the City’s Director of Human Resources. Throughout his career he has acted as an advocate for both labor and management in a variety of labor and employment matters, including grievances, arbitration, contract negotiations, Act 111, PERA, PLRB, Pa. Heart and Lung, Workers’ Compensation, unemployment compensation, NLRB, PHRC and EEOC. He currently serves as a labor arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation.


Robert H. Barron, Esq. is a full-time arbitrator and mediator. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and is affiliated with the International Academy of Mediators. Rob focuses his arbitration practice primarily on labor disputes. He serves on numerous standing public and private arbitration panels in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as on the AAA, FMCS and Bureau of Mediation panels and numerous state-run labor arbitration panels. As a mediator Rob has handled approximately 200 cases and has helped parties settle over ninety-five percent of those cases. He specializes in employment, commercial and personal injury disputes. Prior to his ADR practice, Rob was General Counsel for NFI (National Freight), one of the largest logistics companies in North America, and subsequently led NFI’s Canadian division. Prior to NFI, Rob was General Counsel and VP of Labor Relations for Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com. Rob began his legal career over 35 years ago as a labor and employment attorney at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia.


This meeting will take place online via Zoom. Once you register, you will receive the join information via email, and you will receive it again on the day of the event, about an hour before the event begins.


begins at 6pm
ends by 7pm


You are invited to join Central PA LERA or renew your membership! Annual dues for 2021-2022 are $25 Regular Members and $5 Student Members.

Pricing and Registration

This event is free, compliments of Central PA LERA, for members and non-members alike! However, we do ask that you reserve your spot. To do so, please submit your booking below.

If you have questions, please contact Chris Rupnow at LERACentralPA@gmail.com or 717-303-1764.


Bookings are closed for this event.