Through various modern forms of entertainment, print, and comedy, the stereotype of "the secretary" often involves a hard-nosed, secretly beautiful, well-sleep-with-the-boss woman who simply carries out the commands of those above her in an automated, non-opinionated fashion. Under a similar set of duties, Black's Law Dictionary defines "secretatry" as "an administrative assistant . . . in charge of official correspondence, minutes of board meetings, and records of stock ownership and transfer. Mechanical, tedious, but fundamentally important to the success of the business is the work of the enigmatic secretary. International arbitration tribunals, similar to most businesses, are subject to paperwork, documentation, and organization, to name a few of the tasks involved in the mechanical structure. The ability to effectively and efficiently carry out these tasks makes alternative dispute resolution desirable to clients, arbitrators, and institutions. But, as in any modern office plot, what if the secretary went outside her stereotypical role, authorized or not? Does her involvement create a violation of the sanctity not of her boss' affairs, byt of the fundamental nature of arbitrations? The role of the administrative secretary to international arbitration tribunals remains ambiguous, varied, and often secretive to clients, creating wide controversy in the field today - comparable to a wife's suspicion of her husband's secretary.
Courtney J. Restemayer, Secretaries Always Get a Bad Rep: Identifying the Controversy Surrounding Administrative Secretaries, Current Guidelines, and Recommendations, 4 328 (2012).