Are the whole proceedings conducted online?
Yes. Only the award will be sent to the parties also in written form.
Do I need a professional attorney?
In the Online Arbitration Court, it is not necessary to have a professional attorney. Using the OAC Website is simple and intuitive, so every User will easily handle it on his/her own. However, we suggest that the persons who are not proficient in the law use the assistance of a professional attorney, such as a legal advisor or advocate, so that their arguments and evidence be completely formulated and presented. If a party has such an attorney and wins the case, at its request submitted in the course of the case, the Arbitrators will award reimbursement of the costs of proceedings, including costs of representation, upon the same rules as common courts.
What are equity principles (ex aequo et bono)?
Cases submitted for arbitration are examined on the basis of the law selected by the parties, and in the lack or invalidity of selection – under the proper law resulting from proper provisions. However, if the parties so agree (in the arbitration clause), it is possible to resolve a dispute in arbitration based on equity principles (Latin: "ex aequo et bono"). In such a case, the Arbitrators will not follow provisions of the law, but the feeling of justice – “according to the right and good”.
How many attorneys can I have and who can become an attorney?
You can have only one attorney. An attorney may be any individual with full capacity for acts in law and with an OAC account. However, we suggest that qualified lawyers – legal advisors and advocates – be appointed as attorneys.
How to file a statement of claim in the OAC?
A lwasuit is filed via the OAC Application. After logging in, click on “Start new case”. Then, state the required information (on the parties), attach the arbitration clause (if it exists), choose the Arbitrator, select the proper law and language of proceedings, specify the value of the dispute, formulate the claims, provide the justification, attach the evidence, and then pay the fee.
What procedure modifications are admissible?
The following modifications of the fundamental procedure are admissible in the Online Arbitration Court:
1) introducing an additional round in electronic exchange of documents,
2) removing the requirement for translation of the documents submitted by the Parties into the language of the proceedings,
3) distributing the costs of proceedings between the Parties in equal parts,
4) resolving the dispute with three Arbitrators.
Each modification may be proposed at the stage of filing the lawsuit. If the defendant agrees to them, they will be applied in the given case.
How will the other party learn it has been sued?
An e-mail and a text message will be sent to their address and phone number stated in the OAC, to that effect. After logging in on the OAC account (or after prior opening of an account, if the party has not done it before), the party will become familiar with the lawsuit, submit an answer and perform other acts in the proceedings.
What are the stages of proceedings before the OAC?
The main stages are as follows: a lawsuit, a statement of defense, the second statement of the plaintiff, the second statement of the defendant, and the award. At the request of the parties, the proceedings may be extended with an additional round (the third statement of the plaintiff and the third statement of the defendant). Apart from the main stages, side proceedings may also take place, with Court orders sent to the parties or party motions sent to the Court or to the other party. They will not basically affect the course of the main proceedings.
How to examine the evidence given by witnesses and parties?
The evidence from party and witness testimony may be examined in one of two ways at the discretion of the Arbitrators ruling in the case. The first one is testimony in writing. Such a document must be signed by the person giving testimony and then scanned. Also, it should contain the contact information of that person, as well as the statement on awareness of civil and criminal liability for giving false statement. The document should include answers to all the questions asked by the Court or allowed by the Court upon the motion of a party. The other method is video conference. The Chief Arbitrator then issues an order setting the date of the video conference, indicating who should be present apart from the parties. The video conference will be conducted using the Zoom.us software.
How much does it usually take to have a case examined before the OAC?
A case is usually decided within 3-5 weeks. It may take longer in special circumstances (e.g. changes in the adjudication panel, suspension of proceedings).
What happens if a party does not check its e-mail and phone stated in the OAC and does not even know that it is being sued?
The sending by the OAC Website of messages to the e-mail address and phone number stated by the defendant in the OAC will be tantamount to their effective service. Every Application User is obliged to regularly check their e-mail address and mobile phone number stated in the Website (including the spam folder). It does not matter whether the defendant has actually become familiar with the contents of the message. The messages will be deemed served, and the proceedings will be continued, and a default award may be issued.
May the current minutes of a hearing be downloaded?
At every stage of the case, you can download its current minutes in the .pdf format by clicking on the “Minutes” button visible on the left side of the case view. The minutes are available in two versions: abridged and full. The abridged version, apart from the general information on the case, such as information on the parties, the Arbitrators or on value of the subject of the dispute, includes a chronological list of the activities performed in the case. In turn, the full minutes also contain the contents of all the documents, motions submitted in the case as well as all the orders and of the award.
Is it possible to submit evidence to the OAC using traditional methods?
No, OAC only allows evidence in electronic form. Therefore, if a paper document constitutes evidence, it should be scanned and sent as a PDF file.
In what languages may disputes be resolved in the OAC?
Proceedings may be pending in any language selected by the parties, on the condition that the OAC has an Arbitrator that speaks that language. We suggest indicating the language of proceedings (as well as the proper law) in the arbitration clause. However, the Application itself is currently available in English and Polish.
Is it possible to appeal against an OAC ruling?
No, the proceedings are conducted in one instance.
hat should I do if the List of Arbitrators does not include a person with the competencies required in my dispute?
If, before filing a lawsuit, the List of Arbitrators does not contain a person meeting the required criteria (e.g. knowledge of the law of the given state being the proper law for the given dispute), the User should report that fact to Court staff. The Court staff will exercise efforts to find a competent Arbitrator that meets the required criteria. If, in turn, such a situation appears in the course of proceedings (e.g. on account of resignation, exclusion or dismissal of an Arbitrator), the case will be suspended and the Court staff will search for a suitable Arbitrator. If it is impossible to find a suitable Arbitrator, the case will be discontinued.
Do Arbitrators award the costs of proceedings to the winning party?
Yes, the OAC Arbitrators will award the costs of proceedings to the winning party, if it so requests in a pleading. The costs of representation are awarded in the amount, in which they would have been awarded by a state (common) court that would have examined the case if it had not been submitted to the OAC.