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Arbitration Questions

What is arbitration?

Sometimes disputing parties employ a legal technique where a neutral and impartial expert, third party, or arbitrator reviews the evidence and facts of the issue and announces a resolution. This proceeding is referred to as arbitration. The decision made by the arbitrator is legally binding for the disputing parties and enforceable. Arbitration is commonly used in matters related to international commercial transactions, consumer and employment matters. Usually in order to use the arbitration technique the concerned parties would have a provision in their contract which allows them to do so. If this is not the case, the parties need to voluntarily agree to have the matter resolved in this manner. If there is no agreement, the dispute will have to be dealt through litigation.

What is the procedure of arbitration?

The first step would be to file a request for arbitration using a generic application. The defendant will then need to file a response to the arbitration request. Usually a case manager assigned to the case will oversee the actions and review the progress of the case. Once the parties have agreed on resolution through arbitration, the parties will need to select the arbitrator for their case. Usually, arbitrators are attorneys who play the role of a judge and have expertise in areas of law concerning the case. They may charge a fee or advise you on their rate of pay. They also need to be approved by the Arbitration Association. A preliminary hearing is convened to establish a framework for the case and set time limits. At this point, the plaintiff needs to file a detailed complaint and claims they are suing for. The defendant is given an opportunity to respond. Next procedure involves the hearing where exhibits will be put forth by both parties. Based on these facts and procedures, the arbitrator arrives upon a decision which is final and binding. It cannot be questioned or appealed. The party in whose favor the decision is may choose to record the decision in the district court. The whole process of arbitration is usually completed within six months.

Can an arbitration ruling be squashed in a divorce case in Texas?

It is in rare circumstances where a court will overturn an arbitration ruling in Texas. The court considers most of the reasonable presumptions which favor upholding the ruling. Some of the instances when the arbitration award is altered or corrected are below:

1. Wrong calculations in figures
2. Error while illustrating a person, thing or property mentioned in the award
3. An award was made on an issue which was not submitted as part of the proceedings
4. Flaw in the form of award

Some of the situations when the court would reverse the award are as follows:

1. The award was secured by means of deceit, undue influence or corruption.
2. Discrimination, intentional misbehavior, conduct of the arbitrator leading to unfair award
3. The arbitrator did not follow proper procedures by ignoring valid requests, evidence, exceeded their authority, and so on, leading to a prejudiced hearing
4. There was no agreement to allow arbitration and party raised no objection during the hearing

I want to present a different expert witness to testify on my behalf. Can I request adjournment in the arbitration process?

Adjournment or continuance is a break, halt in the proceeding which will be continued at a later date. It is allowed during the arbitration proceeding and needs to be requested after informing the other party and contacting the arbitrator. Valid reasons such as scheduling conflicts, emergency situations such as injury, death, accident, and so on are usually granted. No party should take advantage of the adjournment process for frivolous reasons. Therefore requests to accommodate new evidence, hiring a new lawyer, changing case strategy, and so on is usually not entertained as it you and your lawyer’s responsibility to gather the necessary facts and evidence at the time hearing. In most cases, a fee is charged for adjournment. The arbitrator will be able to confirm regarding the fee.

I have received no reply after filing an arbitration claim on my insurance company for a motorist claim. Are there statutes of limitation where they are required to revert?

When you face a situation where there is no revert on a request for arbitration within the specified time period of the agreement, a petition can be filed in court. The court will order to enforce the arbitration since they have crossed the time limit to respond. Despite this if there is no response from the defendants, it is implied the statute of limitation has been breached and you can proceed in filing a suit against them instead of pursuing an arbitration proceeding.

Arbitration is essentially an informal trial which may be quicker to pursue. It does require preparation of evidence and strategy by both parties. Arbitration decision can be binding as they cannot be appealed. Arbitration would be a good option if you would like to avoid cumbersome legal procedures and time that traditional court trials generally take. To understand if you could use the arbitration process and clear any doubts regarding it, Expert’s can guide you with necessary and important information.
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