25th Anniversary of Lemon Law Program

By: Alisa Sullivan, WAMS ADR Program Director

Washington Arbitration & Mediation Service has administered the Washington State New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board (Lemon Law) since its inception in 1988. Designated under statute to settle new vehicle disputes between consumers and manufacturers, the Arbitration Board is an independent, neutral agency that conducts arbitration proceedings as a prerequisite to court. Washington is one of a handful of states with a designated Arbitration Board, as others require the consumer to utilize the manufacturer’s arbitration program prior to filing in court.

In its twenty-five year history, the Lemon Law program has received over 6,025 requests for arbitration from consumers looking to have their vehicles repurchased or replaced by the manufacturer. Of those requests, 2,210 cases have resulted in an arbitration hearing, 1,894 have settled with the manufacturer prior to hearing, and 686 requests have been withdrawn by the consumer. It is estimated that the Lemon Law program has resulted in settlements or awards worth about $104,537,440.

Kudos to the dedicated neutrals who have made the Washington State program a successful, impartial process.

Celebrating 30 Years in 2011

It was 1981 when WAMS founder Michael Gillie established Washington Arbitration Services in Ballard as a business entity offering private arbitration in the greater Seattle area.

Since then, Washington Arbitration & Mediation Service has grown to become the leading alternative dispute resolution organization in the Pacific Northwest. Through the combined efforts of the WAMS administrative staff and panel members, WAMS has earned a reputation over the past 30 years for excellence in all aspects of ADR.

Visit the WAMS website at http://www.usamwa.com to learn more about the history of WAMS and its evolution since 1981.

The Buzz for 1/11

2011 marks the 30th anniversary for WAMS as well as a significant career milestone for Harry Goldman, Larry Levy and Bill Rush. WAMS honored them for their 25 years of service as WAMS Super Mediators at our Twelfth Night celebration in early January. Historically, Twelfth Night was an annual event in medieval Europe and colonial America that provided a catharsis of social tensions, frustrations and anxieties. Seems like a very appropriate day to honor these mediators who have done the same for 25 years. Congratulations!