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South Carolina Courtroom of Appeals Reinstates Beforehand Vacated Arbitration Award Arising from Actual Property Fee Dispute

The South Carolina Courtroom of Appeals lately reinstated a $250,000 arbitration award to the Appellant in a fee dispute by overturning a decrease court docket’s resolution that beforehand vacated the award. Regardless of the absence of a written illustration settlement, the Courtroom of Appeals reinstated the Arbitration Panel’s resolution that Appellant was the procuring trigger within the sale. 

Appellee initially filed this case in South Carolina Circuit Courtroom difficult the arbitration award issued by the South Carolina Affiliation of REALTORS® (SCAR) to Appellant, arguing the award misconstrued South Carolina legislation, which Appellee argued required a written illustration settlement.  The case was referred to the Grasp-in-Fairness, and in 2018, the Grasp-in-Fairness vacated the arbitration award to Appellant based mostly on the conclusion that South Carolina legislation required co-brokerage agreements to be in writing, and with no written settlement the Arbitration Panel’s resolution was a “manifest disregard for the legislation.” Moreover, the Grasp-in-Fairness concluded Waldo was prejudiced by not receiving the Arbitrations Panel’s findings of reality or conclusions of legislation, and by the denial of a request to transcribe the post-arbitration Procedural Assessment Listening to.

On enchantment, the South Carolina Courtroom of Appeals overturned the Grasp-in-Fairness’s resolution and reinstated the arbitration award to Appellant.  Referencing earlier caselaw awarding actual property commissions with out written agreements, the Courtroom of Appeals discovered the Arbitration Panel’s resolution was supported by legally justifiable reasoning and was not made in manifest disregard of the legislation.

Moreover, the Courtroom of Appeals held that SCAR was not required to offer the Panel’s findings of reality or conclusions or legislation or to permit a court docket reporter on the Procedural Assessment Listening to. In reaching this conclusion, the Courtroom of Appeals discovered the affiliation’s actions complied with the South Carolina REALTORS® Governing State Skilled Requirements Process.  Moreover, the court docket cited case legislation supporting the Panel’s reasoning in reaching the Arbitration Award as a result of “the factual inferences and authorized conclusions supporting the award are ‘barely colorable.” The Courtroom of Appeals due to this fact held that vacating the arbitration award was not warranted.

The opinion additionally highlighted the court docket’s normal reluctance to vacate arbitration awards with out proof of arbitrators abusing their energy or misconstruing established authorized rules.  The opinion highlighted that an arbitration’s goal is as an alternative choice to, and never a prelude to, litigation. 

Respondents petitioned for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Courtroom of South Carolina. A choice is pending.

Waldo v. Cousins, 2021 WL 4979956 (S.C. App. 2021), reh’g denied (Jan. 11, 2022).

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