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Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards

Arbitration is when a third-party or panel of individuals (i.e., arbitrator(s)) makes a binding decision resolving a dispute. It is often conducted in lieu of litigation to avoid the costs and expenses of a trial. The normal rules of evidence and procedure present in litigation do not exist with an arbitration. 

“Given the purposes of arbitration as an alternative to litigation, judicial oversight of arbitration is narrow and strictly limited.” Behnen v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., 285 S.W.3d 777, 779 (Mo. Ct. App. 2009).“Upon application of a party, the trial court shall confirm an award unless the party opposing the confirmation of the award cites grounds for vacating, modifying, or correcting the award.” Doyle, 109 S.W.3d at 218 (emphasis in original). Doyle v. Thomas, 109 S.W.3d 215, 218 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003). 

The grounds for modifying or correcting an arbitration award are contained in Section 435.410, RSMo. The bases for modification/correct include, without limitation, a miscalculation or mistake in the description of any person, thing, or property. The grounds for vacating an arbitration aware are discussed in Section 435.405, RSMo. An arbitration award may be vacated when, among other things, the award was procured by corruption, fraud or other undue means, the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or there is evidence of partiality by an arbitrator appointed as a neutral. 

Contact with questions relating to litigation and arbitration.