If mediation is not successful, and MBA arbitration is the dispute resolution procedure that is deemed appropriate by the Intake Committee, the Intake Committee will assign arbitrators and an advisory panel for the case. Once the panel is assigned, an inspection meeting date will be scheduled by the lead arbitrator, after consulting with the parties as to their availability. The lead arbitrator will also set the date and time for the arbitration hearing at this point in the process. An Inspection Meeting is usually conducted at the subject property (the “site”) and provides the parties with an opportunity to address each issue raised by the parties and their response(s) to the opposing party’s claims. The arbitrators will attend the inspection meeting. (The arbitrators and advisory panel members will attend the arbitration hearing.) The Inspection Meeting is the time during which each party is given a chance to present their case to the arbitration panel in detail. The parties should note that the Inspection Meeting is the time that is best suited for the presentation of their claims and responses as well as their explanation of any supporting evidence.
The MBA arbitration hearings are conducted at the MBA offices and primarily consist of limited follow-up question and answer sessions conducted by the arbitrators and the advisory panel members, under the supervision of the chairperson. Some issues may not be raised by the arbitrators at the arbitration hearing, particularly where the arbitrators feel that sufficient evidence was obtained at the Inspection Meeting. The arbitration hearing concludes with each party having an opportunity to summarize their respective positions in a five-minute closing argument. The arbitrators’ decision (also known as “Award”) may require one party or both parties to place monies into escrow with the MBA. The decision will specify the terms and conditions for the allocation and/or disbursement of any and all monies that are placed into Escrow. Escrow amounts shall be determined in the decision and are typically ordered to insure compliance with the arbitration decision. MBA arbitration decisions are typically issued within two weeks from the conclusion of the hearing, unless further information is requested or discussion is necessary, as deemed necessary by the arbitrators. All parties will be advised of any delays in the arbitration decision.