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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 the day of the hearing, or no later than forty eight (48) hours following the conclusion ofthe hearing. 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 transmitted to each of the parties, shall be valid and binding and shall not be subject to review or appeal. The award shall be transmitted to the parties within five (5) days after the award is reduced to writing. 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 05/15)

(b) If an award has been rendered, the non-prevailing party must, within ten (10) days following transmittal of the award, either (1) pay the award to the party(ies) named in the award or (2) deposit the funds with the Professional Standards Administrator to be held in an escrow or trust account maintained for this purpose. Failure to satisfy the award or to deposit the funds in the escrow or trust account 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. (Revised 05/15)

(c) After the award has been transmitted to each of the parties, they have twenty (20) days to request procedural review of the arbitration hearing procedure by the Board of Directors. The non-prevailing party shall also have the same twenty (20) days following transmittal of the award to notify the Professional Standards Administrator that a legal challenge to the validity of the award has been initiated. (Revised 05/15)|

If no such procedural 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. (Revised 05/15)

(d) If a request for procedural review of the arbitration procedure is received within twenty (20) days, the funds deposited shall be retained in the escrow or trust 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 from the transmittal of the Directors’ decision 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 from the transmittal of the Directors’ decision, 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 the escrow or trust account and paid to the prevailing party. If written notification is received during the fifteen (15) day period, the funds will be held in the escrow or trust account pending the determination of the matter by a court of competent jurisdiction. (Revised 05/15)
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 transmittal of the award, then written notification that a legal challenge has been instituted must be received within the twenty (20) days following transmittal 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 transmittal of the award will result in the award being paid from the escrow or trust account to the prevailing party. (Revised 05/15)

(e) Any failure to make the necessary deposits 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. (Revised 05/15)

(f) Any interest accrued on the escrowed funds shall become the property of the party to whom the funds are ultimately released. (Revised 05/15)

NOTE: Escrowing of arbitration awards to secure timely payment as addressed in Section 53 (b-c) is not required in states where escrowing awards by associations is prohibitively expensive, and where the state association recommends alternative aggressive and cost-effective enforcement procedures that maximize enforcement/ payment under state law, and local associations adopt those procedures, provided that nothing in those procedures is prohibited by National Association policy. (Adopted 05/15)