Pennsylvania Enacts the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act
July 2, 2019
By Stephen H. Jordan, Esquire
In 1925 Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) which recognized parties’ ability to enter into enforceable, private arbitration agreements. This statute was followed by the enactment of the Uniform Arbitration Act (UAA) in 1955. Pennsylvania adopted the UAA in 1980. In order to clarify possible conflicts, and to modernize how arbitration agreements will be enforced, Pennsylvania adopted the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act (RUAA) effective on July 1, 2019. While there exists an entire array of changes, the following are some of the highlights of which contracting parties should be aware:
- an arbitrator may consolidate separate, but related, claims in one proceeding;
- discovery is allowed prior to hearings;
- some, but not all, of the provisions may be waived by the parties;
- arbitrators must disclose any facts which could prevent him/her from rendering an impartial decision and failure to do so can be grounds for vacating an award;
- arbitrators must make a record of the award and authenticate it by signing same;
- punitive damages may be awarded, based in law;
- attorney’s fees and costs also may be awarded;
- awards may be appealed to court to confirm, modify or correct the award;
- arbitrators are immune from civil liability to the same extent as a judge acting in a judicial capacity.
If you are considering entering into an arbitration agreement, and have questions, contact us online or call our office at 412-338-1100.