Construction arbitration is the action of finding a resolution for the disputing parties using a non-affiliated third party (the arbitrator) who evaluates the case in an effort to find a resolution. The arbitrator’s decision is legally binding for both parties. Arbitration is one of the more recommended ways to settle a dispute, and as construction attorneys in Orlando, we understand the importance of being familiar with the arbitration process.
1. How To Initiate Arbitration
Before the process begins, the disputing parties have the opportunity to choose an arbitrator and define the schedule and rules for the procedure. Having a construction attorney in Orlando on your side before the process starts is highly recommended. An attorney can assist with picking a qualified arbitrator and setting up a schedule.
2. Pre-Hearing Conferences
Pre-hearing conferences take place prior to the arbitration to go over all of the detail of the upcoming procedure. Commonly talked about topics typically include an agreed upon confidentiality term and whether or not an arbitrator can also make decisions on related claims.
3. The Arbitration Hearing
Since arbitration does not take place in the courtroom, the parties have the chance to agree on a more convenient setting, like a neutral office or conference center. During the hearing, each side will have an opportunity to give an account of the dispute. It typically starts off with a short opening statement and the presentation of evidence. At this time witnesses will be called forward to testify, questioned, and cross examined. Arbitration usually ends with short closing arguments, during which the parties have the opportunity to give a recap of evidence, and argue why the arbitrator should rule in their favor. In some cases, the closing arguments are withheld, and instead recorded in post-hearing briefs.
4. The Arbitration Decision
An arbitrator is impartial, and has the ability to make their final decision on what they believe is fair. Arbitrators typically provide their decision in writing. The decision can be as simple as a short statement of who won and the reward that is due to them or it can be pages of explanations and reasoning. Arbitration is known to resolve disputes more quickly than litigation, and arbitrators operate with different deadlines, anywhere from 2 weeks to half a year, to make their decision. It is also a more cost effective process when compared to litigation.
5. Appealing The Arbitration Decision
Arbitration decisions are almost always final and can be difficult to appeal. However, in certain cases the decision can be appealed the following are proven:
- Corruption or fraud found when securing the award
- A corrupted arbitrator
- The arbitrator would not delay the hearing, even if there was cause to delay it
- The arbitrator exceeded their power
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.