Tuesday, November 25, 2014

JAMS Construction Arbitration Rules -- Revised 11/15/2014

Effective November 15, 2014, JAMS issued an update to its Engineering and Construction Arbitration Rules & Procedures.

Click HERE for a summary of the revisions.  For the most part, the rules appear to clarify existing practice.  We highlight a few revisions below:

  • Rule 7. Number and Neutrality of Arbitrators, Appointment and Authority of Chairperson.  Creates defaults for sole arbitrator vs. tripartite panel.  A sole arbitrator will be appointed if the total amount in dispute in the aggregate is less than $2 million or involves residential construction.  All other disputes will have a tripartite panel. 

  • Rule 9. Notice of Claims. Failure to raise jurisdictional or arbitrability challenges in response to a demand or counterclaim (or as soon as circumstances first suggest), will result in waiver of the objection. 

  • Rule 15. Arbitrator Selection, Disclosure and Replacement.  Failure to follow the instructions regarding selection of arbitrators (e.g. striking out all candidates), will be regarded as an acceptance of all proposed arbitrators.  Subparagraph (h) also requires Parties and their representatives "to disclose to JAMS any circumstance likely to give rise to justifiable doubt as to the Arbitrator's impartiality or independence, including any bias or any financial or personal interest in the results of the Arbitration or any past or present relationship with the Parties or their representatives." 

  • Rule 22. The Arbitration Hearing. Subparagraph (g) permits hearings to be conducted videographically and telephonically. 

  • Rule 24. Awards. Permits the entry of an interim award or a partial final award if interim relief is issued.  The time to request a correction runs from the entry of the partial final or final award (not interim award). 

  • Rule 28. Settlement and Consent Award.  This was modified to permit the arbitrator to assist with closing out a settlement confirmed in writing.  To obtain such assistance, the parties must agree that the process will not result in the disqualification of the arbitrator or later motion to vacate/modify any Award.

  • Rule 29. Sanctions. An Arbitrator may order appropriate sanctions for failure to comply with the rules and/or order of the Arbitrator. 

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