What are the duties and responsibilities of the Dispute
Resolution Service staff?
viewing and using the case site, resolving issues with
passwords, uploading documents, sending messages, and adding names to or
deleting names from the access/distribution list
Filing Claims.................................................................................. Johnnie
filing the online claim form, paying the filing fee, furnishing
the statement of claim and agreement or court order to arbitrate; notifying the
Proposing and appointing neutrals....................................................... Geoff
reviewing the agreement to arbitrate and statement of
claim; providing a fair and balanced panel of qualified neutrals; granting
stays prior to appointment of a neutral or panel; and offering appointments to neutrals
Administering claims after a neutral
has been appointed......................... Carine
requesting deposits; scheduling pre-hearing conferences
and evidentiary hearings; and closing
Reviewing and approving invoices....................................................... Geoff
Dispute Resolution Service operate independently from other AHLA functions?
Yes. All parties, party representatives, and neutrals
are treated alike by the Dispute Resolution Service without regard for their
status as an AHLA member, leader, contributor, or sponsor. When AHLA members or sponsors (including past
and present leaders) represent parties, they and their clients pay the same
fees as non-members and receive the same service provided in the same manner as
the qualifications to be on the neutral roster are the same for members,
sponsors, and non-members. All neutrals must agree to the same terms and
conditions of service. In proposing
candidates for arbitrations, mediations, and peer review hearings, the Dispute
Resolution Service does not consider a candidate’s past or present membership or
status in AHLA.
parties and neutrals use the Electronic Case Management System?
Electronic Case Management System (the “ECM”) is the official means of serving
notices, sending communications, and filing documents (See Rule 1.2). Parties and neutrals often prefer to
communicate via email because it is quicker, easier, and more familiar. But email is harder to track and less
secure. The ECM automatically sends messages
to everyone on the access/distribution list, thus ensuring no one is
inadvertently left off of important communications. In addition, the ECM retains a copy of all
document attached to an email is only as secure as the server from which it is
sent and the server or servers to which it is delivered, and no one can control
both ends, or what lies in between.
Uploading and downloading documents from the ECM presents far less risk
of sensitive health or proprietary information ending up in unauthorized
happens if a respondent chooses not to participate in arbitration?
occasionally fail to enter an appearance or refuse to take part in certain
aspects of a proceeding, especially the payment of deposits. The Dispute Resolution Service administers
such claims as follows:
A. Notice of claim to respondent
the Respondent fails to appear in the matter by establishing an account in the
ECM (or by designating a representative to do so) the Claimant must serve the Respondent
with notice of the proceedings by other means (see Rule 2.2). The Claimant, not the Administrator, must assess
and comply with the service requirements of the jurisdiction in which the Claimant
may ultimately seek to enforce an arbitration award.
B. Appointment of arbitrator
the Claimant represents to the Administrator that the Respondent has received
adequate actual or attempted notice of the claim, the Administrator will
provide a panel of candidates through the ECM for review and ranking. If the Respondent fails properly to respond,
the Administrator will grant the Respondent five additional business days in
which to submit rankings of the neutral candidates (see Rule 3.2(f)). If the Respondent fails to submit its rankings
by this second deadline, the Administrator will appoint an Arbitrator or panel
based upon the rankings it has received from the Claimant.
Claimant should notify the Respondent of the pre-hearing conference, the evidentiary
hearing, and any other communications between the Claimant and the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator may communicate ex parte with the Claimant if the Respondent
has been notified of a pre-hearing conference or hearing but fails to
participate (see Rule 4.2(c)).
D. Arbitrators’ fees
commercial cases, if the Claimant wants the claim to move forward despite the
Respondent’s refusal to pay its share of the deposit, the Claimant must deposit
the full amount requested to meet the Arbitrator’s anticipated fees and
expenses. The final award may take into
account the Respondent’s failure to share the costs of arbitration with the Claimant
(see Rules 5.3(b) and 7.6(b)(2)).
consumer cases and certain employment cases, the health care entity or employer
may be responsible for paying all of the forum costs for arbitration and may be
subject to default judgment for failure to pay.
See Rules of Procedure for Consumer Arbitration, Rule 5.3(c); Rules of
Procedure for Employment Arbitration, Rules 7.6(c) and 5.3(c).
E. Award in respondent’s absence
as is provided in Rule 5.3(c) of the consumer and employment rules, the Arbitrator
may not issue a default judgment; a final award must be based on evidence
presented at a hearing (see Rule 7.2). To keep costs down and to avoid unnecessary
delays, the hearing may be conducted by telephone. If no witness testimony is required, evidence
may be established by the submission of documents.
Respondent may enter its appearance at any time up to the close of the hearing. However, the Respondent is not entitled to
have any determinations made prior to its appearance reversed or reconsidered unless
the Claimant failed to provide the Respondent with adequate actual or attempted
notice of the proceeding. For example,
if the Administrator has already appointed an Arbitrator or a panel, the
Administrator need not withdraw the appointment and repeat the appointment
process. Similarly, if the Arbitrator
has conducted a pre-hearing conference and issued a pre-hearing order, the Arbitrator
need not modify this order.
If I believe all or part of a claim does not belong in
arbitration, what should I do?
party who does not believe all or part of a claim belongs in arbitration should
participate in the selection of an Arbitrator (or panel) and promptly raise its
arguments with the Arbitrator once he or she accepts the appointment. A party does not waive its right to contest
the validity or application of an arbitration clause by participating in the
selection of an Arbitrator, or by promptly asking the Arbitrator to address
parties frequently contest arbitration for a variety of reasons. They may argue that an arbitration clause is
invalid, the contract containing the arbitration clause is invalid, the
agreement to arbitrate does not apply to all or some of the issues in dispute, or
the agreement to arbitrate does not apply to one or more of the parties named
in the claim. Under Rule 3.1, the
Administrator will accept a claim, despite such arguments, if it appears that
the parties agreed to arbitrate it under the AHLA Rules of Procedure for
Arbitration. This is a low threshold because the Administrator is not in a
position to resolve contested issues of fact or law. Rather, the Administrator’s role is to
appoint an arbitrator who can decide such jurisdictional issues.
refusing to participate in the selection process, a party foregoes the
opportunity to have an equal say in who the decision-maker will be. There is no advantage to this strategy.
What happens if a Respondent
files an action in court to stay or dismiss the arbitration, or if the parties
agree to suspend the arbitration?
Dispute Resolution Service does not stay or dismiss proceedings merely because a
party has requested a court to stay or dismiss the arbitration. Rather, an arbitration may be discontinued
only upon the order of a court possessing competent jurisdiction over the
matter. If both parties agree to stay
arbitration pending the outcome of a parallel court proceeding, the Dispute
Resolution Service will honor this request.
see the whole AHLA roster of neutrals?
cannot make its full roster of neutrals available. This list is regarded as proprietary information.