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Administrative Review Council Adds Value to Arbitration
Dwight James, American Arbitration Association
Sometimes parties to an arbitration argue about whether there should be an arbitration at all, or whether they are properly-named participants. Those questions are for the courts or the arbitrator. Parties may also disagree about where the arbitration hearings will be held, or by which arbitrators. Arbitral institutions have developed procedural mechanisms to address these and other concerns. For example, the American Arbitration Association formed an Administrative Review Council, which was designed to resolve such thorny administrative issues.
The administrator can determine whether the filing requirements have been met by a claimant under the rules governing the dispute. If the filing requirements are not met, the parties are informed, and if deficiencies are remedied by a date specified the case proceeds. In situations where a moving party has satisfied the initial filing requirements the process moves forward, but respondents still have ample opportunity – beginning with the preliminary hearing – to convince the arbitrator about their substantive issues.
To avoid delays, there are some things worth considering: At the time of service, provide clear information regarding how each of the filing requirements has been met. In situations where it is not already clear, respondents may need to know exactly why they are a legitimate party to the action. Consider whether establishing a hearing locale in the contract while everyone is still getting along might be in everyone’s best interest, and develop a fail-safe strategy for any direct challenges to arbitrators in ad hoc arbitration.Read the full article at:
Today's General Counsel