The bill enacts the "Consumer and Employee Dispute Resolution Fairness Act" (act). For certain consumer and employment arbitrations, the act:
- Prohibits the waiver of standards for and challenges for evident partiality prior to a claim being filed and requires any waiver of such provisions after the claim is filed to be in writing;
- Provides that the right of a party to challenge an arbitrator based on evident partiality is waived if not raised within a reasonable time of learning of the information leading to the challenge but that such right is not waived if caused by the opposing party;
- Establishes ethical standards for arbitrators; and
- Requires specified public disclosures by arbitration services providers but includes protections for certain confidential information.
The bill also requires an individual arbitrator for certain consumer and employment arbitrations to make additional disclosures of information that might affect the arbitrator's impartiality.
The bill specifies how attorney fees and other reasonable expenses are to be awarded if a court vacates an award because of an arbitrator's evident partiality or failure to make required disclosures and clarifies when appeals of orders may be made in consumer and employee arbitrations.
The bill also provides that for a standard form contract involving a consumer or employee:
- Specified terms are unenforceable as against public policy;
- Including an unenforceable term constitutes a deceptive trade practice under the "Colorado Consumer Protection Act"; and
- How certain cost-shifting provisions are to be interpreted.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)