Automation Helps Superior Court Resolve Arbitration Cases

by Vincent Funari

PHOENIX (August 9, 2022) – A technological advancement is helping Maricopa County Superior Court resolve arbitration cases faster and more efficiently.

In 2021, Maricopa County Superior Court partnered with the State Bar of Arizona to launch its new Automated Arbitrator Feed project.

“The State Bar is honored to have partnered with the courts to continue to advance innovations that promote access to justice,” said Jessica Sanchez, State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governor’s president.

Under the new program, Superior Court is able to cast a wider, more accurate net to identify eligible attorneys appointed as arbitrators. The automated process populates updated attorney information from the State Bar of Arizona’s database to the Court’s case management system.

“We are proud that this project is able to increase the number of attorneys appointed as arbitrators. This will significantly reduce the caseloads of those attorneys who have been appointed in the past,” Superior Court Civil Department Administrator Luke Emerson said. “This project is improving the justice system in Maricopa County by increasing access to justice for litigants because cases are now being processed more expeditiously. The information from the new feed is also more accurate.”

“The Court is reducing the cost and resources needed to process arbitration cases since returned mail and the research that follows is minimized,” Emerson said.

Under Arizona court rules, if a civil case involves damages under $50,000 it proceeds to arbitration. A court-appointed arbitrator then reviews the case to decide a just resolution and award. Arbitration is intended to lower court costs for litigants and allows the court to utilize judicial resources more effectively.

The Automated Arbitrator Feed project won a 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Award because it increased the number of attorneys appointed as arbitrators from 3,000 to 9,000. “The Civil Department is honored that the Automated Arbitrator Feed project received a NACo Achievement Award. We would like to give a special thank you to the court’s Business Services Department, our frontline staff for their involvement and feedback and the State Bar for providing the data to make this successful,” Emerson said.

To learn more about arbitration, please visit:

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The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County is comprised of Superior Court, Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation, which includes juvenile detention. The Judicial Branch in Maricopa County is the fourth largest trial court system in the nation and, along with its 3,200 employees, is dedicated to providing a safe, fair and impartial forum for resolving disputes, enhancing access to services, and providing innovative, evidence-based practices that improve the safety of the community and ensure the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch. For more information, visit

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