Arbitrators’ goals with respect to motion practice are to (1) encourage motions that are likely to expedite or facilitate the arbitration proceedings, (2) discourage motions that are not likely to be productive, and (3) provide a fair, efficient, cost-effective process for party presentations and arbitrator decisions.
Procedures for managing motions in arbitration should reflect the desire to be cost effective and expeditious without sacrificing a full, fair hearing. Motions—including those related to issues concerning arbitrator jurisdiction, arbitrability, interim measures, and dispositive relief—should be identified and normally scheduled for hearing as early in the process as possible so dates set for the hearing on the merits are not compromised. Early consideration of such issues may avoid wasteful discovery and a full evidentiary hearing if it is determined the arbitrators do not have jurisdiction to hear a claim or if all or any portion of a claim is subject to a valid defense, such as statute of limitations, release, statute of frauds, or waiver of consequential damages. Time limits should be established for asserting and responding to dispositive motions.