Recently the House voted to raise the mandatory arbitration limit in Washington to $75,000 from the current $50,000 limit. The vote for ESHB 1248 was 85-12 in favor. Now it’s on to the Senate. This is great news for plaintiffs and the public in general. We hope that the entire legislature will enact the increased limit. Mandatory arbitration requires parties to litigate cases in arbitration that have a case value of $50,000 or less. The purpose of mandatory arbitration is to allow for quicker and less expensive resolution of relatively smaller claims. It also saves on court costs which is a direct savings for tax payers.
Arbitration still gives you your day in court; it’s just that the court process is conducted in an attorney’s office. Each side presents their side to the arbitrator in a more succinct presentation and then the arbitrator makes a decision. Either side can appeal the result, but the appealing party risks having to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees if they do not improve their position. Look for updates on this proposed legislation.