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I went to arbitration with personal injury attorney. His friend of 26 yrs was the arbitrator. Ruled in his favor. What can i do

Las Vegas, NV |

I erminated personal injury attorney. Injuries occurred in 2005 and 2006. He did not perform any work on the UIM. He never spoke, wrote, email, text..only sent representation letter and lien. Did not settle UIM. I did. Arbitrator gave him 40%. The arbitrator did not advise me they were friends, until the actual day of arbitration. Of course, he ruled in his favor. THe arbitratior did not use any of the 30 questions I submitted, during discovery. The terminated attorney, came with all my files. But, he could not produce any names, letters, faxes, phone calls, email, or texts in regards to the UMI..I feel if though I have been robbed my the legal profession in Las Vegas, and I am at my wits end on what to do next.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

As Mr. Roitman noted, the time to file a "Request for Trial De Novo" is very short. If you intend on moving forward, you should file one as soon as possible to allow your case to proceed to a Nevada Short Trial. If you do not file a timely Request for Trial De Novo, your case will become final and a Judgment awarding the attorney fees will be entered.

You might also want to contact the Nevada State Bar - (702) 388-2200 - and ask to speak to the Fee Dispute Committee. They may be able to offer further assistance.

The Arbitrator was not obligated to "use any of the questions you submitted during Discovery. It was your obligation, as a party in proper person to do so through questioning or presentation of the evidence.

Whether or not your attorney had a right to fees would depend on the contract between you and him. That would be one of many items of evidence as well as when/how the case settled and what, i any, offers the attorney had gotten during his tenure as your counsel in the case.

You may also want to talk to the State Bar about any ethics issues that may be involved in your case.

Hope this helps.

/s Donald Kudler

This answer does not create an attorney client relationship and does not constitute legal advice, but is solely the opinion of a Nevada Attorney.


As a general concept, an arbitrator's decision is binding and not appealable unless it can be shown that there is no rational basis upon which the arbitrator could come to the decision that he did. The particularl standard of review may vary from state to state. Presumably, the arbitrator gave a written decision as to why and how he came to the decision that he did. You do not mention when the arbitrator rendered his decision. Even if there would arguably a basis to seek a court appeal/review of his decision, there are procedural laws which set forth a specific time limit as to when such an application for review has to be filed by. If that time period has passed, you can be barred from seeking court review, even if you would have otherwise had a meritorious argument that the arbitrator had rendered an improper finding. Again, you should check what the time restriction (statute of limitations) for filing for review of an arbitrator's decision is in Nevada. As for the friendship issue, your claim is essentially that the "friendship" created an unfair bias such that the arbitrator should not have heard the dispute. For you to prevail on that theory, you would likely have to show more than the fact that they were "friends" over 26 years, you would have to establish the degree of friendship - after all, many attorneys come to know other attorneys, and are friendly with eachother, the longer they are in practice. Did these two do business with eachother in the past (and not just as adversaries); did the socialize with eachother privately, etc. You also have a problem in that it sounds as if the arbitrator disclosed the "friendship" at the begnning of the proceeding which was the time for you to ask him to recuse himself and assign your hearing to another arbitrator. Having not done so, it might be argued under your State's laws that you "waived" any objection to his sitting as an arbitrator in your case. Having said that, having awarded the attorney only 40% of what he was asking for sounds like he sided more for you than the attorney, all other things being equal.


If this arbitration is in the court annexed arbitration program you may seek a jury trial, in this case a “short trial” if you file the proper notice. The time to file to get a trial is very short. If you really want to do something about the result you should have a lawyer file for the trial immediately if the time has not already run out!!!
If the arbitration was not in the court annexed program you can hire a lawyer to bring a court chalange claiming that the arbitration was corrupt. A very hard case to win. If you really want to do something act now.
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It appears that you are having afee dispute arbitration.You need to check if you can Appeal the award if unfavorable to you in your jurisdiction.It is likely that lawyers may know other lawyers and arbitrators being in the business. If there is a conflict depends on various facts. Usually the lawyer needs to prove the right to fees and you need to disprove his entitlement to fees.
Need more facts to figure out the details/