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As a union representative during the Depression, Kagel witnessed firsthand the deadly 1934 clash between San Francisco longshoremen and local police that established arbitration as the process for resolving union grievances. Later on, he played a pivotal role defining the rules of the collective bargaining game. Kagel’s umpire duties for nurses, airlines, retailers, newspaper publishers, and the National Football League have made him, says one in-house labor lawyer, “a law unto himself.” Daily rate: $1,500. A former union lawyer, Nicolau turned to arbitration in 1969. Since then he’s refereed for United Parcel Service, Inc., the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, American Airlines, Inc., and the Writers Guild of America, among others. Next available hearing date: February 2003. A nonlawyer, Benewitz fell into the field by accident in 1956. An economics professor at Manhattan’s Baruch College, Benewitz was earning $5,400 a year and supporting a family of five when a friend suggested a career change. He’s since arbitrated for The New York Times Company, Major League Baseball, and the Directors Guild of America. Known for a disarming sense of humor, Benewitz says that the sine qua non of a good arbitrator is an outsized ego: “I think I’m great too, but I’ve done ten years of psychoanalysis, so I know I’m not as great as I think I am.” Clients either love him or hate him. Fiery and intensely driven, Scheinman arbitrates for The New York Times Company, Airborne Express, and various health care and utility companies. Another claim to fame: the “Scheinman Law,” a 1998 statute enacted by Long Island’s Suffolk County, which was angry over a ruling he made raising police pay to the same level as that of cop salaries in neighboring Nassau County. The statute prevents arbitrators from working on the same cases in both counties and, theoretically, bestowing the same benefits. Daily rate: $1,200. Her feminine appearance masks a steely spine. Parker got her start at 27 and has since arbitrated for the National Broadcasting Company, Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and the NHL. Being a woman gave her a leg up in what is still a men’s club. Today, she says, her gender helps keep troublemakers in line. During one week in October 2002 she’s scheduled to hear at least five cases in five separate locations. “Every day I’m someplace else,” she says.

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