Many construction contracts require the parties to resolve their disputes through alternate dispute resolution procedures such as mediation and arbitration. Arbitration is intended to be a cost effective alternative to litigation. The issue of whether arbitration works as well as intended will be the subject of a future post on this Blog but the topic of discussion here is the question of determining the proper parties to any given arbitration. The answer is counterintuitive.
When it comes to arbitration, there are several well settled rules. For example, courts favor arbitration, arbitration is a creature of contract, and no party will be forced to arbitrate when it has not agreed to do so. In light of the foregoing, you might believe that a party, who is named in a demand for arbitration, files an answer to the demand, and participates in the arbitration hearing, has agreed to arbitrate and should be held liable for any arbitrator’s award that enters against it. If you did believe that, however, you’d be wrong.
In CDIFUND, LLC v. Lenkowski, disputes arising out of home construction contracts were arbitrated. CDIFUND, LLC v. Lenkowski, 2011 Conn. Super.