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NCJ Number: 62591 Find in a Library
Title: COURT ANNEXED ARBITRATION
Journal: FORUM  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:215-221
Author(s): P NEJELSKI
Corporate Author: American Bar Association
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Association
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PROPOSAL FOR NONBINDING ARBITRATION OF TORT AND CONTRACT CASES UNDER $100,000 IN US DISTRICT COURT IS BEING CONSIDERED BY CONGRESS AND TESTED IN THREE DISTRICT COURTS.
Abstract: THIS PROPOSAL IS A KEY ELEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PROGRAM TO ASSURE ACCESS TO EFFECTIVE JUSTICE FOR ALL CITIZENS AND TO IMPROVE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OPERATIONS. COMPULSORY NONBINDING ARBITRATION OF CIVIL COURT CASES HAS BEEN USED BY SEVERAL STATES WITH GOOD RESULTS. IN PENNSYLVANIA, A COURT-ANNEXED ARBITRATION SYSTEM HAS BEEN IN EFFECT FOR OVER 25 YEARS. NEW YORK, OHIO, MICHIGAN, ARIZONA, AND CALIFORNIA HAVE ALSO SUCCESSFULLY ADOPTED VOLUNTARY ARBITRATION. IN 1977, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SUBMITTED A BILL TO CONGRESS THAT WOULD ALLOW FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS TO EXPERIMENT WITH REQUIRING THAT CERTAIN TYPES OF CIVIL CASES BE ARBITRATED BY PANELS OF ATTORNEYS. UNDER THIS PROPOSAL, A DISSATISFIED PARTY COULD DEMAND A REGULAR DISTRICT COURT TRIAL. IF NEITHER PARTY DISPUTED THE DECISION, THE ARBITRATOR'S AWARD WOULD BECOME THE JUDGMENT. FEDERAL COURTS IN THREE DISTRICTS (CONNECTICUT, EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA) ADOPTED VARIATIONS OF THE PROCESS. AFTER A SENATE HEARING AND CONFERENCE ON THE ARBITRATION PROGRAM, A REVISED BILL WAS PRODUCED WHICH WOULD PROVIDE A CUT-OFF DATE TO ENSURE THAT ARBITRATION COULD NOT BECOME A PERMANENT PART OF THE FEDERAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW. UNDER THIS REVISED BILL, CASES REFERRED TO ARBITRATION WOULD BE LIMITED TO THOSE THAT PRESENT FACTUAL ISSUES RATHER THAN COMPLEX LEGAL QUESTIONS AND INVOLVE CLAIMS FOR MONEY DAMAGES ONLY (NOT TO EXCEED $100,000). MONEY DAMAGE TORT AND CONTRACT CASES APPEAR TO BE MOST SUITABLE FOR ARBITRATION; CASES INVOLVING ALLEGATIONS OF A CONSTITUTIONAL TORT, CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, FRAUD AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, AND ACTIONS AGAINST GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES WHICH INVOLVE AN IMMUNITY DEFENSE ARE NOT TO BE DIVERTED TO A PANEL OF ARBITRATORS. ALTHOUGH CASES ARE PRESENTLY BEING REFERRED TO ARBITRATION IN THE THREE DISTRICTS MENTIONED, IT IS TOO EARLY TO DRAW ANY MEANINGFUL CONCLUSIONS. ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS OF THE REVISED BILL ARE DETAILED. NO REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Arbitration; California; Civil remedies; Connecticut; District Courts; Grants or contracts; Pennsylvania; Torts; US Department of Justice
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62591

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