Civil Arbitration Program
WHAT IS ARBITRATION?
Arbitration is a process in which disputes are submitted to experienced and knowledgeable neutral attorneys or retired Superior Court Judges to hear arguments, review evidence and render a decision. It is less formal, less complex and often can be concluded more quickly than court proceedings.
WHAT TYPES OF CASES ARE ARBITRATED?
Arbitration is mandatory for certain civil cases regardless of value. These include:
- automobile negligence;
- personal injury;
- suits against a party’s insurance carrier for unpaid bills
arising from a vehicular accident; and
- certain commercial cases.
Moreover, some very complex cases can be referred to arbitration by the Managing Judge.
WHO ARE ARBITRATORS?
Arbitrators must be either attorneys who have at least seven years of experience in the particular area of law or retired Superior Court judges. Separate rosters must be maintained for each discrete area of law. Arbitrators must complete at least three classroom hours of initial training and at least two hours of continuing education every two years thereafter. [R. 1:40-12(c)]. A copy of the application form can be obtained from our forms page. Attorneys wishing to serve as an arbitrator should submit a completed application and a resume to the Civil Presiding Judge and the county bar arbitration selection committee for review and determination. The selection committee sends recommendations to the Civil Presiding Judge. Once the Civil Presiding Judge acts on an application, all approved individuals must complete the required initial training and must submit proof to the AOC before they can be added to the roster.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER ARBITRATION?
After arbitration, parties must take some affirmative action or the case will be dismissed by the court. If a party is not satisfied with the arbitrator’s award, the party must file a request for a trial de novo within 30 days following the filing of the award. This request must also be served on all other parties within the 30-day period. That party must also pay a trial de novo fee to the “Treasurer, State of New Jersey.” A party who is dissatisfied with an arbitration award and who requests a trial de novo should be cautious in doing so. Under certain circum-stances, if the requesting party does not fare better at trial, that party may be liable to pay the other party’s attorney fees and witness costs after the trial is concluded.
If the parties are satisfied with the arbitrator’s award, they may either agree to settle the case based on the award or one of the parties may, within 50 days from the date the award is filed, file a motion to confirm the award and enter judgment.
If neither a trial de novo request nor a motion to confirm the award are timely filed, the court will dismiss the case.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF ARBITRATION?
Arbitrators are knowledgeable and experienced attorneys or retired Superior Court judges.
Prompt scheduling, expeditious procedures, and established time frames for each step serve to limit the time required to resolve the case.
Time saved is money saved. Many of the costs associated with trial can be eliminated by arbitration.
The hearing and the arbitrator’s decisions are generally private and confidential
Each party tells his/her side of the case to an arbitrator in an atmosphere that is less formal than a court proceeding.
An arbitrator’s decision and award may resolve a case or serve as the basis for further negotiations or a settlement.
Arbitration awards, if accepted by all parties and confirmed by the court, are legally binding and enforceable.
Atlantic County Arbitration
Atlantic County Civil
1201 Bacharach Boulevard
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Phone #: (609) 594-3379
Fax#: (609) 343-2345
Cape May County Arbitration
Cape May County Courthouse
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-3096
Fax# : (609) 463-6465
For more informatin on the New Jersey State Arbitration Program, click here.