Arbitration Awards May Be Amended by the Arbitrator
Arbitration is a procedure by which parties to a contract agree in advance that any disputes arising out of that agreement will be submitted to a private individual or a panel of private individuals to issue a final decision referred to as an “award” that is final and binding upon the parties. Much like a court trial, in an arbitraiton, a single arbitrator or panel of arbitrators will hear testimony and take evidence presented by the parties or their legal counsel and then make findings of fact and law that lead to one party prevailing over the other.
Arbitration has become a very popular dispute resolution procedure in construction contract disputes because of its intended efficiency and finality. In general, the courts favor arbitration and, as a result, judicial interference in arbitration awards is very limited. In Connecticut, as in most states, a court will only vacate, modify or correct an arbitration award for a handful of statutory reasons, which do not include re-litigating the matter. In other words, you cannot convince a court to throw out an arbitration award merely by pointing out the arbitrator made a mistake of fact or law.