Real Estate Arbitrator Called Biased

     AUSTIN (CN) – In a dispute over $77,000 in earnest money and deposits, homebuyers claim that Toll Austin TX unfairly calls for binding arbitration to be conducted by Construction Arbitration Services, which is run by a disbarred attorney who is “strongly biased in favor of builders.”

     Plaintiffs demand that their dispute be arbitrated by the American Arbitration Association. They say the defendant refuses to return $76,659 and intends to keep it, and that arbitration, if any, be conducted by Construction Arbitration Services.
     But the plaintiffs say their “counsel investigated CAS and learned that CAS handled its arbitration in a manner strongly biased in favor of builders, that CAS requires homeowners to pay all arbitration fees up front, the CAS is a subsidiary of Home Buyer’s Warranty Co., that the owner of CAS was an attorney who had allegedly been disbarred in Washington, D.C. and in the state of New York and that in California, pursuant to a California statute, CAS was required to publicly post on a Web site the results of arbitrations concerning residential construction disputes handled by CAS.”
     They claim that the Web site postings show that “the builders prevailed in virtually every case,” and that when homeowners prevailed, they were awarded negligible damages.
     Plaintiffs are represented in Travis County Court by Michael Lockwood with Kiester, Lockwood & Babb.

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