A procedure by which parties agree to submit their dispute(s) to a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator. The arbitrator considers arguments and evidence from all sides, then renders a written final and binding decision. The parties may mutually agree upon the rules and procedures, such as CCP 1280 et seq., the JW Commercial Arbitration Rules or any other reputable provider to govern the arbitration proceedings. The parties may also choose to agree to high/low figures to bracket the award. If the decision falls outside the brackets, each bracket is the minimum or maximum that gets awarded. If the decision falls between the brackets, the value of the decision is awarded as is.
A type of arbitration where the arbitrator makes a determination of the rights of the parties to the dispute, but this determination is not binding upon them, and not enforceable in a court of law. The "award" is in effect an advisory opinion of the arbitrator's view of the respective merits of the party's case. Many times the parties agree to this format and utilize it in connection with attempts to reach a negotiated settlement.
A hybrid of a binding hearing and is sometimes referred to as an "either/or" arbitration, it has two popular forms "Night" or "Day" baseball. In each method, the parties submit their last best offer and demand to the Arbitrator. In "Day" baseball, the Arbitrator is aware of the numbers and chooses the figure deemed most appropriate. In "Night" baseball, the figures are kept confidential from the arbitrator. Upon rendering of the decision, the figure mathematically closest to the arbitrator's award becomes the binding award. This format is best suited when the parties feel strongly about the reasonableness of their offer/demand.
If the parties to an arbitration cannot agree on an arbitrator, Judicate West recommends letting us assist you through a strike and rank process. To provide you with qualified arbitrators, we first send all counsel a short questionnaire to identify desired criteria and unique case needs. We also review case histories to identify and rule out arbitrators who have worked extensively with any party or counsel. By doing so, we decrease the likelihood either side will feel the need to disqualify an arbitrator at the formal disclosure stage.
Having received counsel's feedback and performed a case history search, we narrow our list of arbitrators and generate a list from the remaining pool. The list is sent to all parties, along with instructions regarding the number of strikes, the ranking procedure, and the timeline for confidentially returning selections.
After your selections have been confidentially submitted to us, we select the neutral with the highest combined rank (i.e., the lowest combined rank number) to serve as your arbitrator. In the event of a tie, the arbitrator with the lower rate will be selected. If the tied arbitrator’s rates are the same, we will select the arbitrator who has historically done the best job at keeping the cost down for the parties.