FAQs and Glossary

FAQs

SEARCH FAQs

What clause should I put in my future agreements to ensure that eQuibbly is used to resolve a contract dispute?
Is the resolution on eQuibbly legally binding?
Is the arbitration decision enforceable in my country?
Who will be deciding the outcome of the dispute?
If the Parties want to choose an arbitrator from eQuibbly's list, how would this process work?
What qualifications are required to become an arbitrator on eQuibbly?
Does it matter where the arbitrator is located?
How do I hire an arbitrator to resolve a dispute?
What kinds of disputes can be resolved on eQuibbly?
How do I convince the Respondent to use eQuibbly instead of going to court?
What style of arbitration does eQuibbly use?
What are my options if the other Party does not abide by the arbitrator's decision?
What laws are used to determine the outcome of a dispute?
How does eQuibbly work?
Does it cost anything to use eQuibbly?
Who pays for eQuibbly's services and what are the fees?
Is my credit card data or other payment information safe with eQuibbly?
What oath do arbitrators take before being accepted on eQuibbly?
How does eQuibbly use our information?
Are our documents and data secure?
Who can see our dispute?
Is video conferencing available?
Do I need to use my real name?
What browsers are supported?
What is Online Dispute Resolution?
What is arbitration?
What are my options if I think the arbitrator's decision is incorrect?
What if there is an arbitration clause in an agreement signed by another party, but that party refuses arbitration?
How do I resend an invitation to the Respondent?
How do I upload a profile photo or avatar?
Is eQuibbly a government organization?
How do we contact you?

GLOSSARY

ADR
Arbitral Award or Award
Arbitration
Arbitrator
Binding Arbitration
Claimant
New York Convention
Online Arbitration
Respondent

What clause should I put in my future agreements to ensure that eQuibbly is used to resolve a contract dispute?

The parties to a contract can provide for arbitration of future disputes by inserting the following clause into their contracts:

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach thereof, upon the request of either party, shall be settled by final and binding arbitration administered by eQuibbly online at www.eQuibbly.com under its Arbitration Rules, in lieu of litigation, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof for enforcement purposes.

Is the resolution on eQuibbly legally binding?

Yes. Arbitration is a legally binding way of resolving disputes outside the court system. Private entities are permitted by similar laws in many countries to decide cases and hand down legally binding decisions called Arbitral Awards that are enforceable in a court of law on a summary motion or application. Settlement agreements or other signed contracts are usually not enforceable in this manner - to enforce them you would have to first litigate the matter. The purpose of arbitration is to bypass litigation and end up with an enforceable decision.

eQuibbly provides a pre-arbitration agreement which the Parties sign online. In this agreement the Parties agree to abide by eQuibbly's Arbitration Rules and to be legally bound by the arbitrator's decision. If there is an existing arbitration clause in the original contract naming eQuibbly as the arbitral institution that will conduct the arbitration, it does not matter whether or not the Respondent signs the pre-arbitration agreement on eQuibbly. They are bound by the clause in the original contract and the arbitration can go ahead without them - the arbitrator's decision will still have the same force and effect.

The arbitrator's decision is provided in writing in the form of an Arbitral Award which is signed by the arbitrator. The Award incorporates the winning resolution. Each Party is provided with a copy of the signed agreement and the Award.

Is the arbitration decision enforceable in my country?

The arbitration decisions made by the arbitrators on eQuibbly are enforceable in courts of law in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, South Africa, and 144 other countries that are signatories to the New York Convention. A list of the signatory countries is available on the UNCITRAL website.

Who will be deciding the outcome of the dispute?

Depending on the wishes of the Parties to the arbitration, eQuibbly will either assign an experienced arbitration attorney or a retired judge from eQuibbly's list of arbitrators that have been vetted and pre-approved by eQuibbly's advisors; eQuibbly's advisors can be found on our "Advisors & Arbitrators" page. Or the Parties can choose their preferred arbitrator whether they are part of our roster or not. Please contact us at the phone number or email address found at the bottom of this page to discuss the options.

In absence of an agreement between the Parties to the contrary, eQuibbly will assign an arbitrator from its pre-approved list of arbitrators based on expertise required for that particular dispute.

If the Parties want to choose an arbitrator from eQuibbly's list, how would this process work?

Each Party will be given the same list of 5 arbitrators chosen by eQuibbly's administrator from its list of arbitrators that have been vetted and pre-approved by eQuibbly's advisors.

The Parties must eliminate 2 of the 5 arbitrators and list the remaining 3 in order of preference. The Parties must immediately disclose to eQuibbly any potential conflict of interest with the remaining 3 candidates.

The highest matching arbitrator will be the one assigned to the arbitration. If there is a tie, eQuibbly's administrator will break the tie and decide whom to assign based on expertise required.

What qualifications are required to become an arbitrator on eQuibbly?

  1. Minimum of 5 years of senior-level business or professional experience or legal practice, or 3 years judgeship at a superior court level or higher in the US, Uk, Australia, Canada, or other select 'Western' countries.

  2. Educational degree and/or professional license appropriate to the arbitrator's field of expertise.

  3. Training or experience in arbitration.

  4. Membership in a professional association.

  5. Freedom from bias and prejudice.

  6. Ability to evaluate and apply legal, business, or trade principles.

  7. Ability to manage the process fairly and expeditiously.

  8. Held in high regard by peers for integrity, fairness and good judgment.

  9. Dedicated to upholding eQuibbly's arbitrator oath and the highest ethical standards.

Does it matter where the arbitrator is located?

No. An arbitrator does not have to be located in your jurisdiction for the arbitration Award to be legally binding and enforceable in court in your jurisdiction. Due to various national, state and provincial arbitration laws and The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, it is irrelevant where the arbitrator lives or where the arbitrator served on the Bench. The arbitrator can even be in a different country as long as it is one of the signatory countries to The Convention.

How do I hire an arbitrator to resolve a dispute?

  1. First log into your account, or create one if you don't yet have one. Start by clicking the "Get Started" or "Resolve a Dispute" button at the top of the screen and fill in all the fields required;

  2. Based on the information you provide, eQuibbly's administrator will either assign your chosen arbitrator, or the administrator will assign the arbitration to an arbitrator with the appropriate expertise.

The administrator and the arbitrator have sworn an oath to maintain the confidentiality of the information the Parties provide.

What kinds of disputes can be resolved on eQuibbly?

Most types of business disputes can be resolved on eQuibbly.

Business dispute examples: partnership disagreements, non-payment for goods or services, inadequate goods or services delivered after payment, supplier disputes, debts owing, breach of contract, employment, landlord-tenant, lease, franchise disagreements, real estate agreements, et cetera. eQuibbly is able to resolve many other business disputes.

How do I convince the Respondent to use eQuibbly instead of going to court?

  1. You may want to send them these links that provide more information about eQuibbly and that highlight the advantages of using online arbitration: "Why Use eQuibbly to Resolve Business Disputes" and "About eQuibbly" and "How It Works".

  2. Explain to the Respondent that if they win their case on eQuibbly, they do not have to pay anything. If you are forced to take them to court, even if they win, they will usually still have to pay most of their own costs (although in some jurisdictions outside the U.S. they might be able recover much of these costs).

  3. Even if the other party does not initially want to use arbitration, it can be used at any time - even after a lawsuit has been filed.

What style of arbitration does eQuibbly use?

Unless the Parties agree otherwise, the style of arbitration that will be used is known as "Baseball Arbitration" or "Final Offer Arbitration", where the arbitrator must choose to award one of the Parties' Proposed Resolutions. The arbitrator cannot award anything significantly different from one of the resolutions proposed by the Parties, although there is some leeway as noted in eQuibbly's Arbitration Rules. The arbitrator may grant any remedy or relief proposed by the winning party that the arbitrator deems just and equitable and within the scope of the agreement of the Parties, including, but not limited to, specific performance of a contract.

What are my options if the other Party does not abide by the arbitrator's decision?

This rarely happens. It is highly unlikely that the other Party would risk ignoring the Award since they agree in the pre-arbitration contract to pay for all the costs to enforce it if they don't abide by the Award, including attorney fees.

But if it becomes necessary, you can ask a court, in a summary motion or application, to "confirm the Award" (convert it into a judgment) and then enforce it just like you would any court judgment (e.g. seize assets, garnish bank accounts). If the Award is for a local dispute (not international), it can be confirmed and enforced under that country's or state's/province's applicable arbitration Act. If the Award is for a cross-border commercial dispute, it can be confirmed and enforced in any of the 149 countries that are signatories to the New York Convention.

Although confirmation of the Award requires judicial involvement, it is typically a summary proceeding which is relatively quick and inexpensive - it is NOT litigation and NO trial is required. The various state/provincial and national arbitration Acts (legislation on arbitration) have laws dealing with arbitration awards that express a presumption that courts will convert ("confirm") an arbitration "award" (the arbitrators' decision) into a court judgment on a summary application or motion to the court, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as fraud, corruption, prejudice, or something similar. The court plays a mostly administrative role in confirming the Award. The Party simply has to follow the applicable procedures and rules for this type of application to a court which has proper jurisdiction, and the confirmed Award becomes an enforceable judgment.

Different locations have different time limitations for confirming an Award, typically between 1 year and 3 years from the date the Award is issued.

*This is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. You should seek competent legal counsel for any legal advice if one Party does not honor the Award and it becomes necessary to enforce it.

What laws are used to determine the outcome of a dispute?

Unless the Parties agree otherwise, arbitrations on eQuibbly are decided based on the principle of "Ex Aequo Et Bono" - what is fair and just given the circumstances and the facts surrounding the dispute - and American legal principles, not the codified or common laws of any one jurisdiction. Examples of American legal principles include: the right for private parties to enter into private contracts; a contract consists of voluntary promises between competent parties to do, or not to do, something, which the law will enforce; equality before the law; et cetera.

Unlike in government courts, your case will not be decided based on a technicality or a rule that doesn't make sense. Arbitrators on eQuibbly are not influenced by how well-spoken you are, or whether you can afford a high-priced attorney who knows how to manipulate the laws and loopholes to one party's advantage.

How does eQuibbly Work?

eQuibbly uses a simple process to help companies resolve disputes quickly and fairly online. The entire arbitration process takes place online, in a private and secure virtual room, where the Parties sign an arbitration agreement, explain their disagreement, upload, exchange and view evidence, propose a resolution, answer the arbitrator's questions, and receive a legally binding and enforceable arbitration award. Arbitration Awards are enforceable in court the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, China, India and many other countries by virtue of The New York Convention which has been signed by 149 countries.

Parties can agree to use one of their preferred arbitrators, or eQuibbly will assign an arbitrator from its roster of vetted and pre-approved arbitrators. We use highly respected arbitration attorneys and retired judges, with years of experience in their respective fields.

Go to the How It Works page for more information.

Does it cost anything to use eQuibbly?

Yes. Please contact us to discuss a customized fee structure. We offer various options, such as, a flat all-inclusive fee of 10% of the value at issue split between the Parties (includes the arbitrator's time and all administrative fees) up to a value of $50,000 (the dispute's value, not the fee) and 5% thereafter, or a one-time $500 fee per arbitration plus the arbitrator's rate and time (which depends on the arbitrator chosen by the parties), or a "Platform Use Alone" fee.

Although we collect your credit card information prior to inviting the Respondent to respond, your credit card will only be charged after the Respondent responds to your claim and an arbitrator is assigned. You can cancel the dispute any time before the Respondent responds and you will NOT be charged at all. We do NOT store your credit card information - read more about this below.

Please contact us for more information on our arbitrators' qualifications and experience. You can find our email address and phone number at the bottom of this page.

Fee options can be found on our Pricing page.

Who pays for eQuibbly's services and what fee do I pay?

On initiating the arbitration process, the Claimant pays the $500 minimum cost of the arbitration on behalf of both Parties, however, the Claimant can recover the Respondent's portion of this minimum cost by adding it to their claim in their 'Proposed Resolution'.

Unless otherwise agreed in advance, the Parties will split the total fee for the arbitration equally, except the attorney fees, which are borne by each Party separately. Both Parties are liable for paying half the total fee for the arbitration to eQuibbly prior to the Arbitrator's decision and the Award being issued. In the event that the Respondent does not pay eQuibbly their portion of the arbitration fee, the Claimant also is liable for paying eQuibbly the Respondent's portion of the total fee. The Claimant may recover the Respondent's portion of the total fee by adding it to their claim in their 'Proposed Resolution'.

Fee options can be found on our Pricing page.

Is my credit card data or other payment information safe with you?

We do NOT store any of your confidential credit card information on our servers. We use a well-known payment processor, Stripe, to process all payments. Stripe is certified as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider, the most stringent level of certification available. You can confirm their certification in Visa's registry of service providers. Stripe is also a participant in the PCI Security Standards Council.

What oath do the arbitrators take before being accepted on eQuibbly?

Prior to conducting arbitrations on eQuibbly, arbitrators must take the following oath:

I do solemnly swear and affirm that I understand and I will:

  1. Provide truthful and accurate information to all Parties and eQuibbly about my qualification, experience and credentials.

  2. Fairly, impartially and justly conduct my activities as a neutral based only upon the merits of each case.

  3. Disclose to all Parties and eQuibbly as soon as possible any information which could call into question my impartiality or lack of independence.

  4. Conduct my activities as a neutral in a prompt and professional fashion.

  5. Comply with all applicable ethical rules, regulations and standards as from time to time adopted by eQuibbly, or by the ADR and ODR industry in the U.S. and Canada.

  6. Diligently apply all rules and procedures as agreed upon by the Parties or as specified by eQuibbly.

  7. Keep all information obtained from the Parties confidential and not disclose that information to any other person, nor use that information other than for the sole purpose of executing my duties as a neutral, without the express consent and authorization of all of the Parties.

How does eQuibbly use our information?

Your information is only available to you and those you choose to share it with. eQuibbly does NOT share or sell your information to third-parties, including advertisers. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Are our documents and data secure?

The security of your information is very important to us. The information you provide is secure. The only people who can see the information you upload or provide are the arbitrator, the administrator who has signed a confidentiality agreement, the other Party to the dispute and the people you choose to share it with. We will NEVER share any confidential information. When you enter confidential information we encrypt that information using 256-bit encryption technology using a brand-name SSL certificate. Files you upload are stored with Amazon Web Services (AWS), an industry leader in secure document storage.

We do NOT store any of your confidential credit card information on our servers. We use a well-known payment process, Stripe, to process all payments. Stripe is certified as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider, the most stringent level of certification available. You can confirm their certification in Visa's registry of service providers. Stripe is also a participant in the PCI Security Standards Council.

We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect your information, both during transmission and once we receive it. No method of transmission or storage is one-hundred percent secure so we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Who can see our dispute?

All disputes are private. The only people who can access the virtual dispute room and see the information posted are the arbitrator, the administrator who has signed a confidentiality agreement, the other Party and the people you choose to share it with.

Is video conferencing available?

Currently we encourage all Parties to use Skype group video when a arbitrator requests a video conference. A video conference will not be necessary in all cases. The arbitrator will have a Skype Premium account needed to initiate a group video conference, so the Parties will only need a basic free Skype account.

Do I need to use my real name?

Yes. You are required to use your full legal name and registered business name.

What browsers are supported?

IE 9 and higher. Chrome 30 and higher. Firefox 30 and higher. Safari 5 and higher. And iPhone, iPad, Android.

What is Online Dispute Resolution?

Online Dispute Resolution, commonly known as "ODR", is the online version of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and includes mediation and arbitration; it is basically any form of dispute resolution that does not rely on litigation and the judicial court system. Arbitration uses a process that is similar to litigation, but without all the formal complex rules and procedures that govern litigation. It is a private process.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is the submission of a dispute to one or more impartial persons for a final and legally binding decision. Decisions are made in writing and usually preclude a chance for appeal. Disputing parties refer their disagreement to a mutually acceptable, knowledgeable, neutral and independent third-party, and agree in advance to be legally bound by the their decision. Arbitration is similar to litigation in many respects except that it is typically quicker, more convenient, and significantly less costly than litigation. Parties to the dispute can usually save many thousands of dollars.

What are my options if I think the arbitrator's decision is incorrect?

Generally there is no right to appeal an arbitrator's Award from eQuibbly. However, there are a few specific limited instances where a court may grant an appeal, or vacate or correct the Award. This usually only happens when the Party can prove there was fraud, corruption, prejudice or something similar. There are time limits in which you must make an application to the court to assert these allegations; these differ depending on the situation but it can be as few as 30 days.

*It is best to seek competent independent legal counsel for legal advice in these situations.

What if there is an arbitration clause in an agreement signed by another Party naming eQuibbly as the arbitral institution, but the Party refuses arbitration?

Generally if such agreement exists, even if the other Party refuses to participate, the arbitration can proceed in their absence and the arbitrator's decision will have the same force and effect as if the other Party had participated. A court of competent jurisdiction will typically enforce the award. However, there are exceptions to every rule. It is best to seek competent legal counsel in these situations.

If this situation occurs, you should inform us by clicking on the "email" link at the bottom of this page; make sure to send the request from the email address you use to log in to your account.

How do I resend an invitation to the Respondent?

If you need to resend the invitation to the Respondent, the only way to do so is to ask us to resend it for you. Please email us your request by clicking on the "email" link at the bottom of this page and make sure to send the request from the email address you use to log in to your account.

How do I upload a profile photo or avatar?

Go to your account profile by clicking on your name at the top right corner of the screen. Choose "Edit Profile". Next to the "Avatar" label click on the "Choose File" button and choose the file you want to upload from your computer. The photo you choose should be smaller than 3MB. Then click the blue "Update Profile" button near the bottom of the page to save it to your profile.

Is eQuibbly a government organization?

No. eQuibbly is a private organization; we have no affiliation with any government body. Private entities are permitted by law in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa and many other countries to resolve disputes and issue legally binding decisions called Awards through a process known as arbitration. These arbitration Awards can be can be enforced in court if a Party does not honor it.

How do we contact you?

If you have any questions, first search the Support page and if the answer is not there, contact us using the "Need Help? Contact Us" tab found at the bottom right corner of every page. Or you can find our email address and phone number at the bottom of this page. We will make every effort to get back to you within 24 hours and typically much sooner.

GLOSSARY

ADR

Alternative Dispute Resolution. An ADR process is a method of resolving a dispute out of court. Mediation and Arbitration are the most widely used ADR processes.

Arbitral Award or Award

An arbitral Award or "arbitration Award" refers to a decision made by an arbitrator in an arbitration proceeding. An arbitral Award is analogous to a judgment in a court of law.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a means of resolving disputes outside the courts, where the Parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (an "arbitrator") by whose decision they agree to be bound. The neutral third-party arbitrator reviews the evidence presented by the Parties and imposes a decision that is legally binding on both Parties and enforceable in a court of law. Arbitrators aren not required to follow the stringent rules and procedures or the technical Rules of Evidence used in a court. Arbitrators follow a set of rules established by eQuibbly and, unless the Parties agree otherwise in advance, the arbitrators decisions are based on the principle of "Ex Aequo Et Bono" - what is fair and just given the circumstances and the facts surrounding the dispute - and American legal principles, not the codified or common laws of any one jurisdiction.

Private entities are permitted by law in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa and many other countries to decide cases and hand down legally binding decisions called "awards" through arbitration.

Arbitrator

An arbitrator is a general term used to describe an independent, impartial, third-party who resolves disputes and issues a written decision or "arbitral Award".

Binding Arbitration

In Binding Arbitration the Parties in the dispute agree in advance that the decision by the arbitrator(s) will be legally binding and enforceable in court. The decision provided in the award is legally binding and must be honored by both Parties. Usually a court will not allow an award to be appealed, unless the Parties have agreed prior to the arbitration that appeals are permitted.

Claimant

The person initiating the dispute resolution process on eQuibbly (sometimes known as the Plaintiff).

New York Convention

The common term used to refer to the "The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards". The Convention requires courts of the 149 countries that are signatories to the Convention to give effect to private agreements to arbitrate and to recognize and enforce arbitration Awards made in other contracting countries. Although it applies to "foreign" arbitral awards, the term "foreign" has been interpreted by the some courts to include cross-state-border commerce within the U.S. as well.

Online Arbitration

Online arbitration, in its pure form, is an arbitration where the whole arbitration process is conducted entirely online. This includes conducting the hearing online in a secured virtual room where the arbitrator can ask the Parties questions, uploading, sharing and viewing evidence online, and receiving the final arbitration award online. Most companies that claim to offer online arbitration, only provide part of the arbitration process online. For instance, Parties may be able to download claim forms but will then have to submit them via unsecured email. Instead of holding the hearing online it might be conducted via telephone, or email, or in person. eQuibbly offers online arbitration in its purest form.

Respondent

The person who responds to a complaint filed by the Claimant (sometimes known as the Defendant).