A less formal, and often more cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation, arbitration offers parties a forum to definitively resolve disputes with the undivided attention of an arbitrator.
Through a combination of award-winning and experienced arbitrators, exceptional customer service (as illustrated by NAM’s near 99% client retention rate), superior case administration, and a proprietary case management system that is both user friendly and technologically advanced, NAM is fully prepared to support your arbitration needs.
Our arbitration services
The three primary forms of arbitration offered by NAM include:
- Open Arbitration: a hearing in which the arbitrator hears a case and renders a final decision.
- High-Low Arbitration: a process in which the parties, by agreement, restrict the range of an Arbitrator’s decision by establishing “high” and “low” parameters.
- Baseball Arbitration: which typically involves the submission by each party of his/her last best figure and the reason why it should be accepted with the Hearing Officer’s determination being restricted to either one figure or the other.
In addition NAM offers an Optional Appeals Process. Should the parties wish to preserve the right to appeal, parties can agree to provide for an appeal to a panel of NAM arbitrators and allow for review by an appellate panel while still benefiting from a private forum.
Important points about arbitration:
- Unlike mediation, arbitration is binding and final (unless the parties mutually have agreed in writing to an appeals process). The role of the arbitrator presiding over a binding arbitration is to consider evidence presented by each side and render a decision.
- Arbitration is a streamlined process to settle disputes and as such does not usually entail comprehensive discovery. Parties will need to provide material evidence during the arbitration process. The goal is efficient and economical resolutions to disputes.
- In some arbitration proceedings, high-low parameters are negotiated between the parties prior to the hearing for a specific range of the award. The parties must agree to the maximum and minimum, which are written into the arbitration contract. High-lows are not disclosed to the arbitrator and, if the arbitrator’s decision is within the set parameters, the award stands. If the decision exceeds the high parameter, the high dollar parameter is awarded. Conversely, if the decision falls below the low parameter, the low dollar parameter is awarded.
Our arbitration procedures
Below is an example of how an arbitration is conducted under NAM’s Standard Rules and Procedures. Arbitration procedures will vary depending on the matter type (employment, comprehensive, LIBOR, etc.).
- Once parties confirm their intent to arbitrate, a Dispute Resolution Agreement (DRA) is jointly executed. The form includes such pertinent information as names, addresses and telephone numbers of each party to the case, as well as, case file numbers where applicable. Also indicated is whether the hearing is to determine liability, damages, or both. In addition, the form notes any specific agreements between the parties. In the case of high-low arbitration, parameters are included.
- After the DRA is signed and received, all parties participate in the selection of the NAM arbitrator, date, time, and location of the hearing.
- At least ten days prior to the hearing, each party shall send to the other parties and NAM any pre-hearing papers including a list of documents to be submitted and witnesses to be presented at the hearing.
- NAM will forward all papers to the arbitrator.
- At the arbitration, the parties can present their case in a manner similar to that of a non-jury trial in the public court system.
- Each side may present witnesses and exhibits and are permitted cross-examination and closing arguments.
- After deliberation, the arbitrator will prepare a decision and submit it to NAM. This is all typically done within 25-30 days following the hearing, and/or the submission of post-hearing briefs, if applicable. NAM, in turn, will forward to all parties.