Homework Question on Arbitration
In this discussion, you will review the following objection as applied to an arbitration hearing.
Consider the following situation:
A case has been brought by a local community in Colorado against the process of fracking within their city limits. To save money and time that would be lost by taking the case to litigation, both sides have agreed to use arbitration to resolve the dispute. During the hearing, the community attorney requests that the fracking company release a document outlining the content of the chemicals used in the fracking process. The requests are made to determine whether the chemicals include any carcinogenic compounds that might leak into local water supplies. The companies in question refuse to release these solutions claiming they are trade secrets. The companies do not want competitors to have access to these solutions nor do they feel the document is relevant to questions of whether fracking is dangerous or not. Their rationale is that they comply with all federal EPA regulations and have the backing of the state regarding the safety of the solutions.
Now, respond to the following questions in this week’s discussion:
- How would you determine the relevance of the requested document?
• Do you have any personal beliefs that might color your ruling on this request? Explain.
Homework Answer on Arbitration
Background to the Case
A local community in Colorado seeks to determine the content of the chemicals used by a company in the fracking process within their city limits. The community seeks to determine if the chemicals used during the fracking process have any content of carcinogenic compounds which the community fears that if present might leak to their local water supplies. The company refuses to disclose the contents of the solution used in the fracking claiming that it is a trade secret.
Further, the company refutes to disclose the chemical contents alleging that competitors will access to their solutions. In addition, the company feels that the community’s request is not substantive and lacks merit because the company complies with all the regulations of the federal EPA and has state backing with regard to the safety of the solutions used in the fracking process. In order to solve the dispute, the community and the company settled on arbitration.
Determination of the Relevance of the Requested Document
During arbitration, the arbitrator determines whether materials deserve to be used as relevant evidence. Thearbitratorconsiders the significance and weight of the material requested before admitting it to be used as evidence (Davidson, 2013). Any evidence that the arbitratorfinds generally relevant to the case is admissible. Admissibility is arrived at after a careful assessment and evaluation of the requested document.