Appellate Arbitration Procedure

Most users of arbitration find the finality of an arbitration award appealing. But some parties to major cases are concerned about the possibility of an aberrant award and would like to be able to appeal from such an award to a tribunal of outstanding appellate arbitrators. In response to that concern, CPR has adopted the CPR Arbitration Appeal Procedure (“Appeal Procedure”) which is set forth, together with a Commentary. The Procedure may be invoked whether or not the original arbitration was conducted under CPR Rules.

CPR does not wish to encourage widespread appeals from arbitration awards. The Appeal Procedure (Rule 8.2) establishes relatively narrow grounds for appeal beyond the statutory grounds under Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act. Moreover, an unsuccessful appellant is required to reimburse the appellee's legal fees and other costs of the appeal, unless the tribunal orders otherwise.

CPR has also organized a panel of appellate arbitrators consisting entirely of former federal judges who are also experienced arbitrators and who already serve on CPR panels. When the Appeal Procedure is invoked, CPR will arrange for the selection of an appellate tribunal.

The CPR Commission on the Future of Arbitration, consisting of over 50 leading experts on arbitration, completed work on a comprehensive guide for arbitration users, entitled "Commercial Arbitration at Its Best: Successful Strategies for Business Users," (CPR/ABA, 2001). The Commission's deliberations on the finality and reviewability of arbitration awards led to the development of the Appeal Procedure, with the advice of Commission members.