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Online Arbitration by Email

FAQ's

Frequently
Asked
Questions

Question markWhat is meant by "binding" arbitration? Is your arbitration binding?
Question markWhere are your arbitration awards recognized?
Question markWho are your arbitrators?
Question markWho chooses the arbitrator?
Question markI am in a dispute with someone and we agreed to use your arbitration service. Which one of us should file the case?
 
Question markWhat Laws & Rules does net-ARB use to decide cases?
Question markAre you a registered arbitration firm?
Question markCan we use net-ARB if our contract says we have to use the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or some other firm? How about if our contract says we have to use a different set of rules?
 
Question markWhy can't I find your phone number on your website?
Question markWhy isn't your physical address listed on your website?
Question markI find scam reports on the internet saying bad things about you. Should I be worried?
Question markSince net-ARB is based in the U.S., do you favor U.S. residents?
 
Question markCan I appeal if I disagree with the decision?
Question markHow do I enforce the decision?
 




Q:

What is meant by "binding" arbitration? Is your arbitration binding?

"Binding" means the same thing here as it does in the more familiar two-word term, "binding contract". In a contract, it means both sides are committed to doing what they promised in the contract. Applied to arbitration it means both sides have committed to obeying the arbitrator's ruling. All net-ARB decisions are binding.

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Q:

Where are your arbitration awards recognized?

Under a United Nations Treaty concerning enforcement foreign arbitration awards, our arbitration awards are recognized in 156 countries and the list keeps growing every year. Click here for a list of the countries who are parties to this Treaty

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Q:

Who are your arbitrators?

net-ARB has a diverse roster of people who arbitrate for us. Some of them are attorneys and some are not. There is no requirement that an arbitrator be an attorney, just clear-headed and fair-minded. The ones who are not attorneys are on our roster because of their expertise in a particular field or profession ranging from web technology, software architecture & programming , construction, home maintenance, to even dentistry. Having an expert hear your case is another significant advantage of arbitration that you can't get in the court system.

Our non-attorneys are schooled in basic contract law and mentored in arbitration by senior net-ARB arbitrators and staff. Everyone on our roster has gone through an apprenticeship program and no one gets to handle a case on their own unless they measure up to the high standards we set for ourselves.

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Q:

Who chooses the arbitrator?

We choose the arbitrator who is the best fit for your case based on the subject of your dispute. This is a tremendous advantage over the traditional court system where you are assigned a judge who in all probability has done nothing but legal work their entire life, with no first-hand business experience and no experience with the goods or services being disputed.

Some arbitration firms will offer the parties a choice from among a short list of arbitrators. Each party selects 2 or 3 arbitrators from the list in order of preference and the arbitration firm compares both lists to see if there is a mutual choice. If not, the arbitration firm selects the arbitrator. There are a few reasons we do not offer this feature.

  1. Parties often do not have enough specific information about the arbitrators from the general bios they are given to make the best choice for their particular situation. Knowing our arbitrators as well as we do, we are in a much better position to make the best match available. Ask yourself this - why wouldn't we make the best match possible?

  2. These selection systems often result in neither party getting their first choice and just as often not their second choice either. Will you be happy if you get your 3rd choice? Will you be happy if there's no agreement on choices and you end up with someone not on your list? The selection process often ends up being a disappointing waste of time.

  3. Adding the selection feature will add cost which we have to pass on to you in the form of higher fees. net-ARB was founded on the principle of keeping fees as low as possible to make arbitration an affordable alternative to litigation for as many people as possible.

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Q:

I am in a dispute with someone and we agreed to use your arbitration service. Which one of us should file the case?

In most settings a lot rides on which party filed the lawsuit. The order in which both parties present their case rides on the filing order as well as the all-important "burden of proof". It important thing to know about the burden of proof is in the event of a tie, the party with the burden of proof loses. Most times that is going to be the party that filed the case. With net-ARB, the burden of proof is determined logically from the facts, not by who filed first.

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Q:

What Laws & Rules does net-ARB use to decide cases?

Laws vary from one country to another, from one state to another, and even between counties and towns within the same state or country. Every time a dispute crosses one of those boundaries (called "jurisdictions" in legal language), the issue of which laws to use becomes a problem and often times it becomes a trial within a trial. Even when the contract specifies the "choice of law", clever lawyers find a way to make it an issue either to create extra burden for the other party or so that local laws, more favorable to their client, can provide the technicality they need to win.

Choice of law also presents an obstacle for arbitration service providers. In order to receive referrals from local court systems, they must provide arbitrators with knowledge of local laws. What that means is that the arbitration service must remain small and localized, or in the case of the American Arbitration Association, a large U.S. firm, they need to employ hundreds of lawyers across every city they wish to serve, thereby driving up the cost of arbitration to a point where it exceeds the financial reach of most individuals and small businesses. In order to serve the whole world, the cost would be astronomical.

One reason net-ARB was formed was to break those jurisdictional and economic barriers. We did that by adopting a universal set of rules or criteria for deciding cases.

Arbitrators at net-ARB decide cases based solely on what they believe is fair. After all, isn't that what lawmakers attempt to do when they write laws?

net-ARB's Arbitrator Guidelines:

  • Determine a fair and reasonable outcome based on the evidence presented and application of the following:
    • General principles of equity and common law
    • Common sense analysis of circumstances and context
    • Personal experience & expertise
  • Arbitrators must immediately request re-assignment for any of the following reasons:
    • Conflicts of interest, no matter how slight
    • Presence of bias, no matter how slight
    • Loss of neutrality at any stage of the hearing

net-ARB's prime directive is "do equity." Equity courts have been around for literally thousands of years (arbitration dates back over 5000 years!) and have the power to "do equity" even when a legal technicality might require the opposite result. A recent unanimous decision from the »California Supreme Court re-affirmed an arbitrator's power to do equity in exactly that kind of situation. Click the link to pull up the news story from our website.

net-ARB arbitrators apply what is known as "common law", a set of principles handed down over centuries that have served as the basis of statutory law. For example, in order to have a valid contract, there must be a benefit ("consideration") to both parties. The price must be stated, etc.

net-ARB arbitrators also apply their own common sense and life experience to a given situation, which is why net-ARB only uses mature arbitrators and tries to assign arbitrators with a particular expertise in cases where that expertise is needed in order to fully comprehend the facts. Ultimately, the goal of every net-ARB arbitrator is to come up with a fair and equitable solution that fits the facts of your case, rather than some contrived decision that rests on some technicality of a particular local statute.

By adopting these standards, net-ARB becomes the first and only truly worldwide arbitration service provider.

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Q:

Are you a registered arbitration firm?

From time to time we are asked why we are not affiliated with some arbitration organization like the American Arbitration Association. The fact is there is no sanctioning body or licensing organization for arbitrators. The American Arbitration Association in particular is just another arbitration firm, the "American" in their name means nothing other than they are an American company. Calling themselves an Association is merely a matter of preference, no doubt chosen because it begins with an 'A'. Any organizations that do exist are merely fraternal in nature, focused primarily on collective advertising.

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Q:

Can we use net-ARB if our contract says we have to use the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or some other firm? How about if our contract says we have to use a different set of rules?

Yes to both questions. If both parties agree to use net-ARB and net-ARB rules instead of the American Arbitration Association or any other stipulation of their contract, they are always free to ignore the contractual choice. And unlike most contractual changes, you won't need to put this one in writing. Just the fact that you both sign our arbitration agreement acts as an automatic waiver to the contract stipulation.

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Q:

Why can't I find your phone number on your website?

Some people think if we don't publish a phone number then we don't really exist - we're phony. We're not phony of course, we have an active Support team that will personally answer your email in less than a business day, often within hours. Go ahead ... try us!

Having a phone number would make our job a lot easier. Answering questions or addressing concerns by email takes more time than simply talking with you by phone. But when you compare the two, there is nothing we can do over the telephone that we can't do by email as well or better (like sending images & attachments).

We can't take calls because we need a written record of all of our communications with parties or potential parties. Ethical reasons include maintaining neutrality, avoiding any appearance of bias, and certainty about any information or answers we provide. We have to avoid a situation where a losing party can later try to overturn the decision claiming we gave them bad information. If you are the winning party, you don't want to be caught up in a post-decision controversy.

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Q:

Why isn't your physical address listed on your website?

Some people think if we don't list a physical address then we don't really exist - we're phony. The fact is we don't have a physical office. Everyone here works remotely as they have from day one - that's the way we designed it. And that's one of the reasons we can offer the same quality arbitration as the big name brick & mortar arbitration firms at a fraction of the cost.

net-ARB Inc. was incorporated in the State of Georgia (USA) in 2004 by Marty Lavine, its founder, an Atlanta area resident. We consider net-ARB's office to be in cyberspace. Our hearings are conducted entirely by email and we do not accept physical evidence or any non-email communication from clients. We have no need for postal service and do not entertain visitors. We could rent an empty office downtown and use that address, but that's not honest.

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Q:

I find scam reports on the internet saying all kinds of bad things about you. Should I be worried?

No, in fact you should be worried if you couldn't find negative reports about us! All you have to do is understand that all of our clients expect to win, but half of them will be disappointed. It's only natural that some would take to the internet to say bad things about us. If a business like ours doesn't suffer occasional bad reviews from losing parties, we must be paying someone off.

Rather than hide from these reports, we actually feature the ones we know about on our website along with our review of the case and response to the challenges raised. See our Complaint Department for more information and a list of the complaints we know about.

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Q:

Since net-ARB is based in the U.S., do you favor U.S. residents?

Of course not. Think about it a minute. If we showed any favoritism how long would we be in business? If you've been around our site maybe you have already run across our »Complaints section where we feature some not-so-nice things losing parties have said about us on the internet. They accuse of a many things but no one has ever accused us of bias based on nationality, race, or religion. Our registration process doesn't even ask for your address, only your email address.

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Q:

Can I appeal if I disagree with the decision?

One of the advantages of arbitration is the fact decisions cannot be appealed. Everyone has heard of lawsuits that stay in the courts for years – these are due solely to appeals. Party A wins so party B appeals. If party B wins the appeal, party A appeals the appeal, and on and on. Arbitration offers disputing parties immediate closure and a certain future rather than years of legal wrangling. Courts will not hear arbitration appeal cases. When you win your case in arbitration, it's over!

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net-ARB Online Arbitration by Email - Fast, Convenient, Affordable - Better than Mediation or Litigation
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