Arbitration FAQ

Q: What are the benefits of arbitration?

A: Arbitration provides distinct advantages over the court system in many different types of disputes. Because arbitration is a private method of settling disputes, parties can tailor the arbitration proceeding in almost any manner they choose. For example, parties involved in arbitration can agree to limit the number of witnesses each side will present, set parameters on the amount and type of evidence that will be presented, and pre-determine what issues the arbitrator’s award should cover.

Q: How does arbitration work?

A: Arbitration hearings are attended by the parties involved, their attorneys, the arbitrator, and the parties’ witnesses. Each party makes an opening statement, presents evidence, questions and cross examines witnesses, and makes a closing statement. During this presentation, formal rules of evidence generally do not apply. Alternatively, arbitration can be conducted with written submissions only in appropriate cases. The arbitrator then renders his or her decision or award.

Q: What is high-low arbitration?
In High-Low arbitration, the parties mutually establish, prior to the hearing, a range in which the award must be. lf the arbitrator’s decision is between the high and the low figures, that amount is the final award. However, if the award is above the pre-set maximum, it automatically moves down to the previously agreed-upon high figure. Conversely, if the arbitrator’s decision is below the established minimum, the award moves up to the predetermined low figure. In most instances, the parties agree to not inform the arbitrator of the range of their High-Low agreement.

Q: Is arbitration final?

A: Arbitration awards are final and binding on all parties to the arbitration, and may not be appealed except under very limited circumstances provided by statute. Awards may be confirmed in any court having jurisdiction and, thereafter, carry the same force and effect as an original court decision. WAMS Rules of Arbitration include an Internal Appeal Procedure, but it does not apply unless the parties specifically so state in their Agreement to Arbitrate.