In most cases that we handle, The National Arbitration Forum acts as the administrator of the arbitration process to ensure that cases proceed quickly and smoothly according to the rules of the arbitration agreement. The administrator’s role is to answer parties’ procedural questions, to schedule hearings, and to coordinate the flow of information between the parties and the Arbitrator until the case is resolved. The role of the administrator is strictly that; the administrator takes no part in the decision making process in the arbitration.
We do handle some private arbitrations, primarily because the arbitration process is completely confidential as no files are opened at the courthouse that disclose personal or confidential business information, or even that a dispute exists. All the proceedings of the arbitration are confidential and cannot be disclosed by either party or the neutral. However, when a decision is rendered by the Arbitrator, that decision can be enforced against the losing party by the filing of a lawsuit which would produce a judgment in order to give legal effect to the arbitration award.
The ability to appeal from the award of an Arbitrator is severely circumscribed to only those situations where a party can prove that the neutral acted with bias, prejudice, or unethically in the conduct of the arbitration process.
For more information, please go to www.arb-forum.com.