Arbitrator Workshop Webinars

AF recently facilitated its most recent Arbitrator Workshop Webinar on September 21 and 22. The purpose of these quarterly 30-minute workshops is to drive decision quality by:
  1. Sharing information with arbitrators on recent decision quality trends and drivers
  2. Answering questions arbitrators may have on hearing cases
The September workshop focused on comparative negligence decisions (when 50/50 liability may be more appropriate than 0% or “Word vs. Word”), handling Policy Limits with other exposures, and disputed damages decision explanations. 

Key takeaways from this workshop include the following:
  • Consider the preponderance of evidence standard before rendering a “word versus word” decision. The parties’ respective liability arguments may convey a word versus word scenario, but the evidence may reveal which version is more probable.
  • Evidence is considered valid unless refuted by other evidence. For example, a driver statement submitted by a party does not need to be corroborated by a police report or witness statement.
  • When hearing a case involving policy limits and additional exposures, remember that:
    • Valid Exposures include: damages to an uninsured party; party not named in the filing; party named, but not seeking its own damages in the filing; damages to property (guardrail, traffic light/sign)
    • Not Valid Expenses include: damages sought in the filing; damages not supported by evidence
    • Out-of-pocket expenses could be valid or not valid. For example, if the Recovering party’s insured has sent a demand for their out-of-pocket expenses, that would be a valid exposure since it impacts the available balance of the policy limits.
  • Tips for hearing damage disputes include the following:
    • Avoid using template text. Seeing the same explanation on different cases conveys the perception that individual cases are not being heard on their own merit.
    • Address all arguments made.
    • Craft your explanation to the party that did not prevail and why their argument was not supported.
    • Remember, you are not adjusting the claim. As the arbitrator, you are resolving the parties’ dispute based on their arguments and evidence.
The final workshop for 2022 is scheduled on November 16 and 17. Visit our website to register. Our 2023 schedule will be updated soon.