Rules of Arbitration
- Claimant shall submit a Claim to arbitration under these Rules by giving written notice to all other Parties stating plainly and concisely the nature of the Claim, the remedy sought and Claimant's submission of the Claim to arbitration ("Arbitration Notice").
- The Parties shall select arbitrators ("Party Appointed Arbitrators") as follows: all the Claimants shall agree upon one Party Appointed Arbitrator, and all the Respondents shall agree upon one Party Appointed Arbitrator. The Party Appointed Arbitrators shall, by agreement, select one neutral arbitrator ("Neutral") so that the total arbitration panel ("Panel") has three arbitrators.
- If the Panel is not selected under Rule 2 within 45 days from the date of the Arbitration Notice, any party may notify the nearest chapter of The Community Associations Institute, for any dispute arising under the Governing Documents, or JAMS, or such other independent body providing arbitration services, for any dispute relating to the design or construction of improvements at the Properties, which shall appoint one Neutral ("Appointed Neutral"), notifying the Appointed Neutral and all Parties in writing of such appointment. If either agency is unavailable or unable to provide such arbitration services, the Association or any Party may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction to appoint an arbitrator in accordance with Washington law. The Appointed Neutral shall thereafter be the sole arbitrator and any Party Appointed Arbitrators or their designees shall have no further duties involving the arbitration proceedings.
- No person may serve as a Neutral in any arbitration in which that person has any financial or personal interest in the result of the arbitration. Any person designated as a Neutral or Appointed Neutral shall immediately disclose in writing to all Parties any circumstance likely to affect impartiality, including any bias or financial or personal interest in the outcome of the arbitration ("Bias Disclosure"). If any Party objects to the service of any Neutral or Appointed Neutral after receipt of that Neutral's Bias Disclosure, such Neutral or Appointed Neutral shall be replaced in the same manner in which that Neutral or Appointed Neutral was selected.
- The Appointed Neutral or Neutral, as the case may be ("Arbitrator') shall fix the date, time and place for the hearing. The place of the hearing shall be within the Properties unless otherwise agreed by the Parties. In fixing the date of the hearing, or in continuing a hearing, the Arbitrator shall take into consideration the amount of time reasonably required to determine Claimant's damages accurately.
- Any Party may be represented by an attorney or other authorized representative throughout the arbitration proceedings. In the event the Respondent fails to participate in the arbitration proceeding, the Arbitrator may not enter an Award by default, but shall hear Claimant's case and decide accordingly.
- All persons who, in the judgment of the Arbitrator, have a direct interest in the arbitration are entitled to attend hearings. The Arbitrator shall determine any relevant legal issues, including whether all indispensable parties are Bound Parties or whether the claim is barred by the statute of limitations.
- There shall be no stenographic record of the proceedings.
- The hearing shall be conducted in whatever manner will, in the Arbitrator's judgment, most fairly and expeditiously permit the full presentation of the evidence and arguments of the Parties. The Arbitrator may issue such orders as it deems necessary to safeguard rights of the Parties in the dispute without prejudice to the rights of the Parties or the final determination of the dispute.
- If the Arbitrator decides that it has insufficient expertise to determine a relevant issue raised during arbitration, the Arbitrator may retain the services of an independent expert who will assist the Arbitrator in making the necessary determination. The scope of such professional's assistance shall be determined by the Arbitrator in the Arbitrator's discretion. Such independent professional must not have any bias or financial or personal interest in the outcome of the arbitration, and shall immediately notify the Parties of any such bias or interest by delivering a Bias Disclosure to the Parties. If any Party objects to the service of any professional after receipt of a Bias Disclosure, such professional shall be replaced by another independent licensed professional selected by the Arbitrator.
- No formal discovery shall be conducted in the absence of express written agreement among all the Parties. The only evidence to be presented at the hearing shall be that which is disclosed to all Parties at least 30 days prior to the hearing; provided, no Party shall deliberately withhold or refuse to disclose any evidence which is relevant and material to the Claim, and is not otherwise privileged. The Parties may offer such evidence as is relevant and material to the Claim, and shall produce such additional evidence as the Arbitrator may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the Claim. The Arbitrator shall be the sole judge of the relevance and materiality of any evidence offered, and conformity to the legal rules of evidence shall not be necessary. The Arbitrator shall be authorized, but not required, to administer oaths to witnesses.
- The Arbitrator shall declare the hearings closed when satisfied the record is complete.
- Unless requested by the Arbitrator, there will be no post-hearing briefs.
- The Award shall be rendered immediately following the close of the hearing, if possible, and no later than 14 days from the close of the hearing, unless otherwise agreed by the Parties. The Award shall be in writing, shall be signed by the Arbitrator and acknowledged before a notary public. If the Arbitrator believes an opinion is necessary, it shall be in summary form.
- If there is more than one arbitrator, all decisions of the Panel and the Award shall be by majority vote.
- Each Party agrees to accept as legal delivery of the Award the deposit of a true copy in the mail addressed to that Party or its attorney at the address communicated to the Arbitrator at the hearing.