New Subrogation Arbitration Rules

richmond collection attorneysImportant changes have been implemented by Arbitration Forums, Inc. that affect subrogation practitioners appearing in the Property Arbitration Forum.  These rules came into effect last month, March 1, 2012, and one of the most profound changes manifests itself in Rule 3-7, stating:
“All written contentions and supporting evidence submitted to the Forum are all that is to be considered by a Property Arbitration arbitrator, and that a party attending the hearing is not allowed to verbally present its case or offer any argument that is not included within their written contentions.”
Rule 3-7(a) goes on to state that practitioners may clarify or amplify points made in written contentions, or submit additional evidence, at the arbitrator’s request.  No arguments may be presented, and only questions posed by the arbitrator may be answered.    Finally, Rule 3-7 has shortened the time allowed to submit evidence for arbitration, now all evidence must be received by the Materials Due Date, instead of the arbitration hearing date, as was previously the case.
This represents a major strategic shift for the Virginia subrogation attorney entering a arbitration with an opposing insurance company.  Now, practitioners must be ever closer attention to the deadlines handed down by arbitrators to ensure all relevant evidence has been submitted.  Furthermore, practitioners must ensure that any emotional impact or consequential damages are adequately represented in the written contentions and evidence.  No longer can Virginia subrogation counsel rely on verbal arguments to elucidate for the arbitrator how the written evidence impacted the claimant.
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