When a case is filed where money damages do not exceed $150,000.00, the court will refer it to court annexed arbitration. Court annexed arbitration is a process where a neutral third-party arbitrator will adjudicate the dispute in an expedited manner. The cases referred to Court‐Annexed Arbitration are heard by one qualified arbitrator, unless one or more parties request a panel of three. The arbitration hearings usually take place within six months of the filing of the answer. Attendance at the arbitration hearing and the production of documents may be compelled by subpoena. Testimony is given under oath and witnesses may be cross‐examined. The Federal Rules of Evidence serve as guidelines but are not rigidly enforced. The arbitrator conducts a day-long hearing at which both parties present their respective cases. At the conclusion of the arbitration hearing the arbitrator will issue an award in favor one party, which will be binding, unless one of the parties requests a trial de novo.
Numerous benefits can be obtained from Court‐Annexed Arbitration:
- Arbitration is held relatively early in the case, parties can save time and money.
- The process is fair, as a neutral assessment of the case is made by a qualified, impartial attorney.
- An absolute right to a full trial is preserved.
- The arbitration award also may provide a useful starting point for settlement discussions.
Court Annexed Arbitration is governed by Local Civil rule 83.7.
To reserve a conference room for the purpose of arbitration send an e-mail including the requested date, time, and case index number to firstname.lastname@example.org