The American Coalition for Ethanol recently presented “NGFA Arbitration – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Alternatives,” a webinar that outlined why the association’s arbitration process may appeal as a method of dispute resolution.
“While NGFA was not a part of the webinar, it’s a nice reminder for our members about how we can help – if needed,” said NGFA Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Charlie Delacruz. “Over the years, NGFA’s Trade Rules and Arbitration System have facilitated the resolution of thousands of cases, which when challenged in court have been continually upheld. We have a long history of fairly and effectively resolving industry disputes.”
Mary Turke, managing partner of the Michael Best & Friedrich LLP’s Madison, Wis., office, was the webinar presenter and highlighted the benefits of NGFA arbitration. For example, Turke created a top five list of why NGFA arbitration may appeal as a method of dispute resolution. She said, NGFA arbitration:
- Offers quick resolution compared to litigation dockets that can be as long as 18 to 24 months. By contrast, NGFA requires that two-party cases be submitted to decision makers within 90 days and limits extensions to 20 days.
- Has a shorter discovery process. Parties provide written records (documents and affidavits with testimony).
- Is more certain since NGFA disputes must be brought within one-year after a dispute arises (or last date performance of contract allowed). This contrasts with federal and state statutes of limitation, which typically consider contract claims that are brought within six years to be timely.
- Provides cost-savings since oral hearings are voluntary. This contrasts with litigation that must go to trial unless dismissed on legal grounds. NGFA oral hearings are available upon request, but the requesting party covers the costs – such as stenographic record, travel and hotel for arbitrators, NGFA secretary and its legal counsel.
- Uses impartial, volunteers that possess industry knowledge, whereas a judge and jury may require substantial education effort.
She also recommended NGFA membership to gain access to NGFA arbitration and using contracts that expressly reference NGFA Trade Rules.
For more information, see the slides and webinar recording.
New Trade and Arbitration Rules Booklet Available
In a related development, the association recently announced that new NGFA Trade Rules and Arbitration Rules booklets are available.
For more than 110 years, NGFA’s trade rules and arbitration rules have been used to facilitate trade and provide an efficient way to resolve disputes involving grain, feed, barge and barge freight, secondary rail freight, and certain transactions with railroads. (Learn more about NGFA’s five sets of trade rules.)
Download free copies (65 pages). Printed copies of the booklet are available to NGFA members for $10 each for one to five copies, and $8 each for six or more. Non-members may purchase the booklet for $55 each; however, there is no quantity discount. For additional information, contact the NGFA at 202-289-0873 or order online.