May 17, 2017 Articles

Thoughts on Building an Unassailable Arbitration Award

Ideally, the award is the result of a well-orchestrated, consensual interaction between counsel and the arbitrator

by Hon. Clifford L. Meacham (Ret.)

Drafting a clear, reasoned arbitration award is a process rather than an event; it takes time. Thoughtful execution can make an award nearly unassailable while conveying to participants the diligence and careful analysis invested in the decision. The participants deserve as much.

Ideally, the award is the result of a well-orchestrated, consensual interaction between counsel and the arbitrator. That interaction identifies the issues, narrows the evidentiary universe, distinguishes the agreed-upon facts from those in dispute, makes findings of facts material to the dispute, and applies the law to the facts as found by the arbitrator. With solid input, the arbitrator can write an award that explains the outcome. Counsel’s role in establishing the facts, building submissions, and fashioning proposed final awards is set forth below.

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