Actually, a lawyer is not a judge. In special cases, however, lawyers are appointed as arbitrators for binding decisions if the disputing parties have stipulated this in a contract.
Recently, Atty. Dr. Seyfert was appointed by the Frankfurt Bar Association as an arbitrator in the field of Copyright and Media Law to decide on a specific case. In the specific case, Atty. Dr. Seyfert then had to make a binding decision pursuant to § 18 ARB on whether the pertinent legal expenses insurance of a party had to provide cost coverage for the appeal against a first instance court verdict. Cost coverage is to be granted to the policyholder, among other things, if there is sufficient prospect of success for an appeal against a first instance court verdict.
In the specific appeal proceedings, which Atty. Dr. Seyfert had to assess as an arbitrator, the question was whether a certain feature film may be broadcast on the German TV station ARD and other TV channels or whether this is not permissible because of a violation of the right of personality of a person recognizably portrayed in the feature film. The conflicting interests in this case must be weighed against each other in detail: Artistic freedom and the public’s interest in information on the one hand, and the general right of personality of the person concerned on the other. Atty. Dr. Seyfert had decided that the insurance must cover the costs for the appellate proceeding.