January 2016 E-Bulletin for Arbitrators

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Decision Quality in 2016
  2. Updated Guide for Arbitrators
  3. Upcoming Arbitrator QwikShares — Enroll Today!

Decision Quality in 2016

Quality magnifying glassKudos and thanks to all who served as an arbitrator in 2015, assisting AF in efficiently and effectively resolving over 587,000 member disputes in 2015. Such an accomplishment would not have been achieved without your commitment and support.

In 2016, cycle time and decision quality will remain at the forefront as we continue to enhance our members' experience. We will continue to develop and deliver Arbitrator QwikShares, publish the E-Bulletin for Arbitrators, and create additional Arbitrator Resources to help you hear cases more efficiently and effectively.

In the meantime, when entering your decisions, remember to include:

  • A summary of the contentions to confirm you understood the arguments made
  • The breach(es) of duty that caused the loss and/or calculations to show how you reached the reduced damages figure, if applicable
  • An explanation of the evidence item(s) that influenced your decision — what did it contain and/or how did it factor into your decision

The following example demonstrates how some minor tweaking can enhance a decision. In the words of John Wooden, "It isn't what you do, but how you do it."

Original Decision:

What evidence caused you to render this decision and why?
Alpha provided a written statement from the operator of Beta's vehicle that supported its version of the accident. The damages to both vehicles support Alpha as well.

Enhanced Decision:

What evidence caused you to render this decision and why?
Alpha's written statement confirmed its insured was proceeding straight when Beta made a right turn from the middle lane without signaling, causing the collision. The statement included a diagram that supported this, and the vehicle damages showed the point of impact to Beta's right rear and Alpha's front end, which also supported its version of the accident. Alpha also submitted a written statement from Beta's driver, wherein she simply states she signaled and changed lanes. No reference was made to traffic or making sure the lane was unoccupied. The lack of details proved Beta's driver was unaware of the traffic when she changed lanes.

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Updated Guide for Arbitrators

Updated StampExtra, Extra! The Guide for Arbitrators has been updated! In an effort to make this resource more of a one-stop shop for arbitrators, updates have been made to the Guide. These include enhanced sections on Affirmative Defenses and Affirmative Pleadings as well as on disputed damages. Both of these sections now include a table that provides the arguments that might be raised and the questions you, as the arbitrator, may want to consider in hearing these cases. Take a look and see for yourself!

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Upcoming Arbitrator QwikShares — Enroll Today!

Webinar GraphicEnroll today for our upcoming Arbitrator QwikShare Webinars! Our QwikShares are 20-minute, topic-specific Webinars that focus on issues that frequently generate questions from arbitrators and post-decision corrections, and attendees may ask questions via Chat. We know your time is valuable. We hope you'll appreciate and take advantage of the opportunity for AF to quickly share important feedback and tips without a significant investment of your time.

Enroll in Handling Prior Payments. Learn how to confidently handle disputes involving prior payments during a brief, 20-minute instructor-led Webinar! This session includes when to credit the prior payment argued by the Respondent, how to complete the Damage Dispute section when crediting a prior payment, and the opportunity to ask questions via Chat.

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