June 2016 E-Bulletin for Arbitrators

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. QwikShare Recap: Hearing "No Answer" Cases
  2. Loss of Use Recoverable in Texas
  3. Upcoming Arbitrator QwikShares — Enroll Today!
  4. Member Feedback... Thank You, Arbitrators!

QwikShare Recap: Hearing "No Answer" Cases

AF recently facilitated an arbitrator QwikShare on hearing "no answer" cases that covered:

  • What items should be considered when Rule 3-2 arises
  • How Rule 4-1 would apply
  • The concepts of prima facie and preponderance of evidence

The arbitrators who attended the sessions asked good questions. For those who were unable to attend, we will provide the questions and answers to the most commonly asked questions:

1. Is there an arbitration rule that states if a Respondent responds and does not specifically dispute liability in its contentions that liability is not being disputed?

There isn't a "rule" that states this. But, if the Respondent submits a response that does not include any contentions or does not contain any arguments regarding liability in the Contentions section, then it should be considered that liability is not in dispute.

2. Can you explain Rule 2-5 when the Respondent does not answer?

Rule 2-5 outlines what a Respondent must do to dispute damages. If a Respondent does not submit a response, Rule 2-5 is not applicable. As the arbitrator, you will decide if the Applicant has proven its case. If the Applicant alleges that liability has been admitted and only damages are disputed, does the Applicant's evidence support these allegations?
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Loss of Use Recoverable in Texas

Texas woodOn January 8, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court in J & D Towing, LLC v. American Alternative Insurance Corporation, 2016 WL 91201 (Tex. 2016), changed a long-standing law and ruled that owners of automobiles deemed to be a total loss may recover loss-of-use damages.

In its decision, the Supreme Court did not specify whether the change in the law would apply retroactively to all pending losses or prospectively. Auto arbitrators may see this damage dispute in assigned cases. If so, simply remember to "look to the evidence."

It is the responsibility of the parties to support their arguments with evidence. And, as an arbitrator, you have the authority to decide the case based on your evaluation of the evidence. There is no right or wrong decision; there is only your decision.

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Upcoming Arbitrator QwikShares — Enroll Today!

Man typing on keyboardEnroll 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 Admissions of Liability. This Webinar offers tips on what to consider when a Respondent indicates an admission of liability. Tips are shared within the framework of three specific scenarios to enable you to easily apply them in practice.

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Member Feedback... Thank You, Arbitrators!

Thank you megaphoneThe following is recent member feedback on decisions. Kudos to all on providing the high-quality decisions our membership values and appreciates.

"The arbitrator was very detailed in her decision and explaining why she decided the way she did. Instead of just saying, 'proved damages' or 'proved reduction of damages,' she actually explained why she made the decision she did. Regardless if I agree, she explained it. That's good."

Thank you, Arbitrator Jolynn Renaud!

"It was a well-reasoned decision and pretty lengthy, so I was impressed with it. Generally, I've got to say, I've really appreciated everything you all have done regarding decision quality."

Thank you, Arbitrator Phillip Vandiver!

"The description was very thorough. The arbitrator explained exactly what evidence she used, and the reasoning behind her decision was very well explained."

Thank you, Arbitrator Danette Kobolt!

"He gave an excellent explanation for his award. It was very detailed, so there's no second-guessing."

Thank you, Arbitrator Nathan Yoshimura!

"The decision was well-explained and documented in the final summary. It was very professional and fair."

Thank you, Arbitrator Kelle Taylor!

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