I love my job. I opened up my email just now and found this press release:
[RENT-A-JUDGE] is designed to cut through bureaucratic procedures and eliminate unnecessary legal wrangling. With RENT-A-JUDGE's approach, each party focuses on the core issues of their case and submits a fixed number of pages of documents to prepare for the one-day hearing, which starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. Presided over by a seasoned attorney with at least 20 years of experience, the hearing culminates in a written, reasoned opinion from RENT-A-JUDGE within five business days. The price is a fixed $10,000 per case, with the plaintiff and the defendant each paying $5,000 of the fee. The process is non-binding, unless both parties agree in advance to make it binding.
This might sound ridiculous, but is actually a great idea. It's competition for a pretty confusing (and often confused) judicial system that frequently fails to meet the needs of many of its users. In cases where both parties want speedy resolution, private arbitration has long been an option. Rent-a-Judge simply refines that concept further, putting a slightly silly advertising campaign on a product that could pretty obviously be useful in certain kinds of cases.
This won't be the right mode of arbitration for complex legal questions involving many players and multiple jurisdictions. But it's fast, it's cheap, and even though somebody loses—everybody wins.