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Part Ten, Section 53 — The Award

(a) The award of the arbitrators (Form #A-12, Award of Arbitrators, Part Thirteen) shall be made as soon as possible after the evidence is presented. The award shall be in writing and signed by the arbitrators or a majority of them, shall state only the amount of the award, and, when so signed and served on each of the parties, shall be valid and binding and shall not be subject to review or appeal. Any award rendered may not be greater than the amount in dispute, may not include punitive damages, may not include attorney’s fees unless expressly provided for in the agreement giving rise to the dispute, and may not include interest unless called for in the arbitration agreement and permitted by state law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a party to an arbitration proceeding may appeal to the Board of Directors only with respect to such alleged irregularities occurring in the conduct of the proceeding as may have deprived the party of fundamental “due process.” (Revised 4/98)

(b) After the award has been served upon each of the parties, they have twenty (20) days to request procedural review of the arbitration hearing procedure by the Board of Directors.

If no such review is requested, the award becomes final and binding following the twenty (20) day period. However, if procedural review is requested, the award is not considered final and binding until after the Board of Directors has concluded that the hearing was conducted in a manner consistent with the Board’s procedures and the parties had been afforded due process.

NOTE: Adoption of Section 53(c)-(f) is at the option of each Member Board.

(c) If an award has been rendered, the nonprevailing party must, within ten (10) days following receipt of the award, either (1) pay the award to the party(ies) named in the award or (2) deposit the funds with the Board Secretary or Board Executive Officer to be held in a special Board escrow account maintained for this purpose. Failure to satisfy the award or to deposit the funds with the Board within this time period may be considered a violation of a membership duty and may subject the member to disciplinary action at the discretion of the Board of Directors. (Adopted 11/87)

The nonprevailing party shall have twenty (20) days following service of the award to request procedural review of the arbitration hearing procedure or to have legal counsel notify the Board Secretary or Executive Officer that a legal challenge to the validity of the award has been initiated. (Adopted 11/87)

(d) If a request for procedural review of the arbitration procedure is received within twenty (20) days, the funds deposited with the Board shall be retained in the Board’s escrow account until the review is completed. If the arbitration award is confirmed by the Board of Directors following the conduct of the limited procedural review, the nonprevailing party shall have an additional fifteen (15) days to institute an appropriate legal challenge to the validity of the arbitration award. In such case, the nonprevailing party shall also cause legal counsel to advise the Board in writing that a suit challenging the validity of the arbitration award has been filed during this additional fifteen (15) day period. After fifteen (15) days, if written notice of a suit challenging the validity of the arbitration award has not been received by the Board, the funds shall be released from escrow and paid to the prevailing party. If written notification is received during the fifteen (15) day period, the funds will be held in escrow pending the determination of the matter by a court of competent jurisdiction. (Adopted 11/87)

If the nonprevailing party does not request the Board to conduct a procedural review of the arbitration hearing process during the twenty (20) day period following service of the award, then written notification that a legal challenge has been instituted must be received within the twenty (20) days following service of the award. Failure to provide written notification that a suit challenging the validity of the award has been filed within twenty (20) days following service of the award will result in the award being paid from the Board’s escrow to the prevailing party. (Adopted 11/87)

(e) Any failure to make the necessary deposits with the Board shall be referred to the Board of Directors for action at their next meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. The party failing to make the deposit on a timely basis shall be advised of the date, time, and place of the meeting and shall have an opportunity to explain why the required deposits were not made on a timely basis. The Board of Directors may, at its discretion, impose discipline or may give the party an additional period to make the required deposits. The Directors may also stipulate appropriate discipline to be automatically imposed if the party fails to make the deposit within the time established by the Directors. (Adopted 11/87)

(f) Any interest accrued on the escrowed funds shall become the property of the party to whom the funds are ultimately released by the Board. (Adopted 11/87)