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Adolph M. Koven arbitration records

Identifier: L1989-25

Scope and Content of the Records

The records consist of Koven's office files and arbitration case files dating 1964-1989. Many of the cases pertain to wrongful termination suits as well as grievances between unions and private companies. Files may contain transcripts of the proceedings, correspondence between interested parties, written decisions, and billing and travel information. Many files relate to Koven's arbitration work with the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART), United Can Company, Northern California Homebuilders Union, California Nurses Association, the University of San Francisco, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, United Public Employees, the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Dates given in the finding aid are closing dates for the cases, if available. When closing dates are unavailable, hearing dates have been substituted. Some office files contain information about opinions, contracts or grievances and are grouped by subject or alphabetically.


  • Creation: 1964-1987, undated


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use. Contact Special Collections to access to audiocassettes.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Collection is stored offsite. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Biography of Adolph M. Koven

Adolph M. Koven was born on July 22, 1917. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley in 1940, returning for graduate work until 1942. He earned his L.L.B. from Southwestern University School of Law in 1953. Koven was active in labor dispute resolution from 1942, and became a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators in 1962. He was a full-time labor arbitrator and mediator from 1960, with permanent and ad hoc assignments in many industries in the private and public sectors including construction, oil, rubber, aircraft, and others.

Koven served as a permanent arbitrator of the Joint Appeals Board for several labor associations and as Chairman of the Municipal Employee Relations Panel, City and County of San Francisco. He authored numerous articles on collective bargaining and labor relations and many of his decisions were published in arbitration reporting journals. Among his notable activities, he directed the Neutrals Trained for Dispute Settlement program at the University of California at Berkeley's Institute of Industrial Relations, served as Mayor Tom Bradley's mediator in the Los Angeles city-wide bus strike in 1974, and other special assignments. Koven was the featured arbitrator in the film, Arbitration: The Truth of the Matter (1975) and the co-author (with Susan L. Smith) of Just Cause: The Seven Tests (1975) and Alcohol-Related Misconduct (1984).

Adolph M. Koven died in March 1990.


12 Linear Feet ( in 30 containers)

Language of Materials



Adolph M. Koven (1917-1990) was an arbitration lawyer active in the San Francisco area. He co-authored Just Cause: The Seven Tests and Alcohol-Related Misconduct. The records consist of his arbitration case files, 1964-1987. Many files relate to Koven's arbitration work with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART), United Can Company, Northern California Homebuilders Union, Stanford University and the University of San Francisco.

Off Site Storage

Collection is stored offsite. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Adolph M. Koven, 1989.

Processing Information

Processed by John M. Duncan, Archival Assistant, and Sydney Lanier, Graduate Student Assistant at the folder level, April 2008. The folder titles are retained from the original order, with minimal editing for clarity.

Processing Note

This collection was processed using minimal standards processing, attempting at all times to make folder titles as descriptive as possible. Extensive weeding took place to retain a representative sample of cases.

  • Boxes 31-302 of the processed Koven Papers deaccessioned.
Adolph M. Koven:
A Guide to His Arbitration Records at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
May 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)