December 2011 #3. Court Annexed Arbitration Program.

Authorby Frances Yamada

Hawaii Bar Journal


December 2011 #3.

Court Annexed Arbitration Program

Hawaii State Bar JournalDecember 2011Court Annexed Arbitration Programby Frances YamadaThe Court Annexed Arbitration Program (CAAP), estabhshed by HRS §601-20, has been in effect since February 1986 in all circuits. The program provides mandatory, non-binding arbitration for all tort cases having the probable jury award value of $150,000 or less.

The program's success is dependent on its panel of eligible and qualified attorneys serving as volunteer arbitrators. Attorneys serving as arbitrators must have been licensed to practice in the State of Hawaii for at least 5 years, and must complete a one-hour orientation and training program following their selection to the panel. Arbitrators are sworn or afiirmed by the Arbitration Judge to uphold the rules of the program, laws of the state, and the Code of Ethics of the American Arbitration Association.

CAAP arbitrators have the general powers of a court, as they have sole discretion over discovery and conduct conferences and hearings as necessary. Meetings usually take place at the Arbitrator's office or some other neutral location in a relaxed setting. Arbitrators seeking neutral advice and assistance may contact anyone on the CAAP Mentor Panel.

Currendy, there are more than a thousand active arbitrators statewide. These arbitrators have contributed to the resolution of more than 26,000 cases since the program's inception, with more than 29,000 cases placed into CAAP statewide.

Attorneys serving as CAAP arbitrators often find their experience rewarding and even enjoyable. According to one CAAP Arbitrator who has been on the panel since 1999, "I am able to play an instrumental role in the legal process and in the end, hopefully issue a fair and impartial award such that both parties are wiUing to accept it (as final) and refrain from filling a request for Notice of Appeal and Request for Trial De Novo. Whenever I sit as CAAP Arbitrator and hear later on (after my award is issued) that the parties felt it was very fair and hence, they chose to not appeal it, I feel great satisfaction because I was able to do my small part in facilitating the closure of a case thereby preventing one more matter from potentially clogging up our court system."

CAAP arbitrators also report that they gain perspective from...

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