With arbitrations scheduled to start in a month, General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group have only just been identifying most of their lawyers, prompting some attorneys for rejected dealerships to express concern that their cases could be delayed for up to four weeks.
Each dealer is supposed to know who is representing the automaker in his case so he can request documents about his showroom's performance that also might shed light on why it was marked for termination.
Dealers also are supposed to coordinate with the other side on selection of an arbitrator.
The American Arbitration Association, which is overseeing the process, plans to set up an alternative framework for document requests in case dealers don't want to wait for the appointment of an arbitrator, said India Johnson, the association's senior vice president.
She said dealers will be allowed to seek documents through a so-called special master -- a second arbitrator for their case appointed just to field discovery requests and resolve disputes about them.