Online Arbitration FAQs
For the vast majority of people in the United States, disagreements or disputes wind up in lawsuits and courts that everyone realizes takes a lot of time and money. Although mediation and binding arbitration has existed for centuries, it is now becoming more mainstream. For more information, read the arbitration FAQs below.
Simply put, mediation and binding arbitration are effective ways of resolving differences privately, without the need to enter a courtroom. Arbitration Resolution Services, Inc. (ARS) has invented the world’s finest cloud-based system where the entire arbitration process can be completed online.
ARS technology has clearly improved the alternative dispute resolution process and will continue to do so in the future. The following are arbitration FAQs – the most frequently asked questions we receive about the mediation and binding arbitration processes.
What is arbitration?
A way of resolving disagreements that is quicker, easier and less costly than traditional litigation. With arbitration, each party gives their reasons for why they are seeking money from another person/company and the other party(s) explains why they don’t owe the money or are also owed money. The party who starts the arbitration is known as the Applicant. This party can be seeking money from more than one party as long as the money being sought arises out of the same accident or contract. The other party(s) is known as the Respondent(s). The Respondent(s) then explains why they don’t owe the Applicant any money or why the Applicant owes them money. A neutral third party called the Arbitrator ultimately decides the matter. With ARS, our Arbitrators are always experienced litigation attorneys who know the law and how it applies to your situation.
How much does it cost?
The Fee Schedule lists the fees that must be paid before a matter is referred to an Arbitrator. The fees are usually less than it would be to file and pursue a lawsuit. There are no fees other than those listed in the Fee Schedule.
How does arbitration work?
Before an Application is filed, the parties must agree to submit the matter to binding arbitration (which means that all parties are legally bound to the Arbitrator’s decision) with ARS or be required to arbitrate a dispute with ARS based on the terms and conditions of an agreement between the parties. The Applicant starts the process by submitting an Application that has their reasons for why the other party(s) owes them money. The Respondent(s) then submits a Response to ARS explaining why they don’t owe the Applicant any money. The Respondent’s Response may also include a claim for money against the Applicant, which is referred to as a counterclaim.
When the parties submit the Application and Response(s), they will have the opportunity to submit any evidence (proof) which supports their position. The claim is then assigned to an Arbitrator. Where permitted by ARS rules, the parties can request a telephonic hearing. If such a hearing is requested, the Arbitrator will make their decision after the hearing. If no telephonic hearing is requested a decision will be made based on the Application and Response(s) along with the evidence that has been submitted.
What is evidence/proof?
Evidence is things or people that you can use to prove your claim or to show that the other party’s position is wrong. The type of evidence can vary depending on the nature of the dispute. Here are some examples:
Nature of dispute:
Vehicle: For claims arising out of vehicular accidents, evidence can include police or accident reports, witness statements (these are statements by someone or people other than the parties who saw the accident), photographs, estimates or receipts showing the damages to your vehicle. With ARS you can also use any type of video or audio recording that you have taken at the time of the accident or to show the damage to your vehicle.
Business and Individual Matters or Disputes Between Businesses: For claims that arise out of contracts, evidence must include a copy of the agreement in addition to witness statements, photographs, written documents showing the basis for the amount of money being sough in the Application or Counterclaim. If a hearing is requested, the parties may testify as well as any individuals with personal knowledge of the events involving the claim(s).
How are Arbitrators chosen and how are they assigned to specific arbitrations?
ARS Arbitrators are experienced litigation attorneys selected based upon their years of experience in various areas of the law. Before they are added to our panel of arbitrators, each potential Arbitrator is interviewed and their qualifications are verified. Once placed on the panel they will only be assigned cases where their background shows a high level of expertise. Our computer randomly assigns cases to Arbitrators based on their strongest areas of knowledge. Before a matter is assigned to an Arbitrator, ARS also conducts a conflict check to make sure that the Arbitrator has no connection to the parties to ensure their neutrality.
What if a party does not honor (pay) as required by a decision?
ARS rules provide that if a party fails to pay as required by a decision (also know as an award) then the party who was not paid must notify ARS as noted in the rules. Once the non-paying party is prompted for payment by ARS and still fails to pay the award, the award may be converted to judgment and then enforced. In that situation, the award against the non-paying party will be increased, as provided in ARS rules, to cover the expenses incurred by the party who was not paid in converting the award to a judgment.
What happens in a telephonic hearing?
After introductions are made, the Arbitrator (who will have already reviewed the file containing each party’s side of the matter) will start by giving their initial thoughts as to what they believe to be the facts. If they have any questions about the facts, they will ask questions of one or all of the parties so that they can understand the facts more clearly. Then the Applicant and Respondent(s) will have the chance to explain why each believes the Arbitrator’s view of the facts is correct or not. After the parties are finished, the Arbitrator will give the parties the chance, if they want to, to discuss the dispute between themselves for a few minutes to see if they can settle the claim. If they can’t, the Arbitrator will then end the hearing. Within sixty (60) days the Arbitrator will render a decision and the parties notified.
How do I upload evidence?
Before you can upload evidence, you must copy it onto your computer. For devices like mobile phones, camcorders, MP3 players, etc., refer to the instructions that came with the device on how to copy the media files onto your computer. When you are filling out an application, there will be a green “Upload” box on the application when it is appropriate to upload evidence. Within that box, you must use the “Type” dropdown menu to specify the type of evidence you want to upload. Next, click the “Browse” button. This will launch a file-browsing window on your computer that you can use to locate the file containing the evidence. Each piece of evidence must be uploaded separately, that is, no “zip” files or other archive files are allowed. After you have located the file, click the “Open” or equivalent button on the file-browsing window, which will return you to the application form. The filename will be automatically filled in for you in the “Filename” box. (You could have typed the filename manually if you prefer.) Finally, click the green “Upload” button. For large files, it may take a few seconds for the file to transfer. After the file is uploaded, it will appear in the evidence table.
What if my evidence is on paper, and I do not have a scanner?
There are two other ways to upload paper documents. 1) You can put the document in sunlight and take a photo of it with a good camera, so that it is easily readable, then upload that photo. 2) You can request a fax upload, which will provide you with a specially coded fax cover sheet. You can then use the cover sheet to fax the paper document to ARS, which will be automatically attached to your arbitration as evidence. You must fax each piece of evidence separately.
How do I know when I need to take action?
Simply put, follow the green buttons. On your personal arbitration management page, you will see a list of arbitrations to which you are a party. If the “Next Step” column contains a green button, it indicates that “the ball is in your court.” The presence of a green button means that you should click it, because there is an action you need to take for that particular arbitration to proceed. Clicking a green button on your personal arbitration management page does not immediately take that action, but rather displays the application with the appropriate green button(s) at the bottom of the page. You will need to fill out any required information then click the green buttons on the application to take the corresponding action. For arbitrations that are waiting on someone else, there will not be a green button, but rather a “View” link that will allow you to view the details of that arbitration.
Is this site secure?
Yes. This site uses the industry standard SSL encryption, so that nobody may observe any details or evidence without being authorized. You are responsible to use a strong password and protect it. If someone can guess or steal your password, then they can gain the same authorization that you have. If an attacker attempts a “dictionary” attack on your account (an automated password cracking technique), your account will be automatically locked out.