September 2018 E-Bulletin

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. Arbitration Forums, Inc. Celebrates 75 Years of Member Service
  2. System Maintenance, October 2018
  3. Clarifying "Missed Evidence" as a Clerical Error (Rule 4-2)
  4. Respondents: Properly Support Prior Payments
  5. Video Evidence Submissions Coming September 23
  6. Expand Your Knowledge Today

Arbitration Forums, Inc. Celebrates 75 Years of Member Service

Image of AF's 75th anniversary logoAF has reached an exciting milestone, its Diamond Jubilee! This year is the 75th anniversary of providing our over 4,700 members with dedicated service and innovative, technology-based solutions.

Arbitration Forums, Inc. was founded by the New York City Claim Managers Council in 1943 to offer a litigation alternative in subrogation disputes. Today, our AF team consists of more than 160 employees and contractors.

Since those early years, we have challenged ourselves to offer innovative technical solutions to the industry’s ever-changing needs. Through programs, products, and services, such as paperless filing, AF has played a vital role in revolutionizing the subrogation process.

Our member companies’ claim volume has increased dramatically over time. In 2017, members filed 797,000 arbitration disputes and 1,807,000 subrogation demands collectively worth $12.5 billion.

AF was created and continues to be owned and operated by the insurance industry. Although our products and services have expanded over the years, our members are at the center of all we do. We continue to serve them with integrity, accountability, passion, and achievement. We continue to use member feedback as our “North Star” guiding us toward the most effective solutions. With each product developed and service provided, our goal is to reduce arbitration- and subrogation-related expenses, increase productivity, and reduce cycle time for our members.

Thank you for making AF the recognized and respected organization it is today. Industry created. Membership-driven. We look forward to the next phase of our incredible journey together.
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System Maintenance, October 2018

Image of a miniature toolbox on a laptop keyboardAF is scheduled to perform system maintenance and upgrades. As a result, AF's website will be unavailable from 10 PM Eastern on Friday, October 26, 2018, to 6 PM Eastern on Sunday, October 28, 2018.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our members. AF is committed to continuously enhancing our products and services. We thank you for your continued support.
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Clarifying "Missed Evidence" as a Clerical Error (Rule 4-2)

Image of an error button with a X on itOn rare occasion, the situation arises when an arbitrator expressly states that a specific evidence item "would have been helpful" or "was not submitted" when, in fact, it was properly listed as evidence and submitted by a party. In essence, the arbitrator "missed" the submitted evidence when reviewing the case.

If, at AF's discretion, the arbitrator confirms that the referenced evidence was, in fact, missed or not viewed when the case was originally heard, the arbitrator will be permitted to consider that evidence and amend the decision, if needed. This will be considered a correctable clerical error on the part of the arbitrator in accordance with Rule 4-2 (see definition below).

It is not a correctable clerical error when an arbitrator makes no reference at all to an evidence item and a party perceives it was not reviewed. Arbitrators are trained to comment only on the evidence that influenced their decision, not each evidence item.  See below for examples of what does and does not qualify as missed evidence.

Missed Evidence
  • Arbitrator states there was no police report when in fact, there was
  • Arbitrator states estimate did not include the supplement when the estimate does include the supplemental damages
Not Missed Evidence
  • Arbitrator does not mention the police report, which was submitted
  • Arbitrator does not address a specific argument raised in the contentions
  • Arbitrator “misinterprets” a piece of evidence (in the parties’ opinion)
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Respondents: Properly Support Prior Payments

Image of money in a mailboxWhen negotiating liability with adverse parties, respondents will often pay what they feel they owe, leaving the Applicant with an unpaid balance. To collect, Applicants will file the unpaid subrogation balance in arbitration.

If you’re a Respondent, it’s imperative to support payments made to Applicants ensuring arbitration awards are appropriately reduced.

The payment can come in a variety of forms. Below are examples:

A copy of the  actual check/draft with status of “deposit/cashed”:
Image of a deposited check

A print screen  with status of “honored/cashed”:
Image of a statement showing an honored payment

A print screen showing an  EFT payment was “sent”:
Image showing an EFT payment was sent
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Video Evidence Submissions Coming September 23

Image of a camera lensWe are excited to announce that the ability to submit video evidence in Online Filing will be available on September 23. This new functionality will eliminate the need for a company representative to take the time to make a personal appearance to play the video evidence for the arbitrator.

As a reminder...
  • The file size cannot exceed 40MB.
  • Acceptable file types are .mov, .wmv, .avi, .mp4, and .vob.
  • All submitted video file types are converted to .mp4 format to eliminate any compatibility issues for the arbitrator.
  • Bookmarking may be used on lengthy videos to indicate points of interest to the arbitrator.
  • Examples of appropriate video evidence include: dash cam video of accident, security video showing accident, and video of scene.
The process to upload video evidence in OLF is identical to how any evidence is uploaded:

1. Select “Video Evidence” under Available Evidence Types and move it under Selected Evidence Items.
Screenshot of the Evidence tab

2. After the filing or response is submitted, select Upload Evidence and upload the video file.
Screenshot of the Upload Evidence option

3. A video graphic depicts that the uploaded file is a video file.
Screenshot of the Video Evidence icon

4. Depending on what the video is of, the submitting party can:
  1. Select “Video Evidence” and use the Description field to explain what it is, i.e., dash cam video of accident, security video showing accident, video of scene.
  2. Select a comparable evidence type such as “Statement - Driver” (the graphic icon will convey that it is a video file).
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Expand Your Knowledge Today

Image of a woman pointing to the word webinar on a chalkboardWhether you’re filing your first dispute or studying to be an arbitrator, check out our online, instructor-led webinars. Covering a wide range of topics, these webinars are a great way to expand your knowledge base and keep you current on the latest arbitration and subrogation skills and advances. So whether you’re looking to learn something new or just dusting off the cobwebs, there’s a webinar for you. Best of all, they are offered to members at no cost!

See our webinars.
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