Electronic Proofs of Damage in Arbitration

Image of a dollar sign on a circuit boardMany members have reduced costs by replacing paper transactions with electronic methods, for example, by replacing paper draft payments with electronic payments. Two of the most common payments that have seen a shift from paper to paperless are towing and rental.

Unfortunately, there has been some confusion surrounding the validity of electronic proofs in arbitration. It’s important to understand that these transactions do not involve a traditional bill, because the member has a direct relationship with the vendor that supports electronic payments.

AF’s Guide for Arbitrators addresses these payments (page 7, ”Electronic Proofs of Damage”) as follows:

“…It is common for the Applicant to provide electronic proof of payment without the corresponding bill. Knowing that the Applicant does not possess a traditional bill due to its electronic connection with certain vendors, these proofs of payment will have to be accepted also as proof of damages.”

We have been educating our member arbitrators to accept electronic proofs of payment as proof of damages. If you see a decision in which your electronic proofs of payment were not accepted as proof of damages, you may file a Post-Decision Inquiry with AF within 30 calendar days after publication of the decision.

Article published in: October 2017 E-Bulletin