RESOLUTION OPPOSING ELIMINATION OF MANDATORY ARBITRATION FOR UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED MOTORIST CLAIMS

WHEREAS, certain insurance interests have requested that the Insurance Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania eliminate the inclusion in automobile insurance policies of mandatory arbitration for uninsured and underinsured motorist claims;

WHEREAS, the requested limitation of mandatory arbitration would result in voluminous numbers of uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists claims resolved through litigation in the Pennsylvania Courts of Common Pleas or the Federal Courts situated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has been an active participant with both the State and Federal Courts in their efforts to prevent a backlog of cases and to promote the efficient administration of justice;

WHEREAS, the Administrative Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County by letters dated October 3, 1996 and November 26, 2001 to the Insurance Commissioner, opposed the elimination of mandatory arbitration for uninsured and underinsured motorist claims;

WHEREAS, the Administrative Judge has stated: "The conclusion is inescapable that the addition of uninsured and underinsured motorist claims will overburden this system and others, add delay to our resolution of all other matters and add enormous additional costs";

WHEREAS, the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in a letter to the Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association dated February 4, 2002, informed the Association that the Court opposes the proposal to eliminate mandatory arbitration in uninsured and underinsured motorists disputes;

WHEREAS, the President Judge concluded that "if large volumes of UM/UIM matters are shifted to our Courts, our entire system of justice in Philadelphia County will suffer. Our judges will be overburdened by the increased case load. Members of the Bar will find themselves inundated with pre-trial and trial matters. Most significantly, the parties will experience litigation delays due to the crowded Court calendars. The extra costs to our civil budget will adversely impact on all of First Judicial staff and operations";

WHEREAS, the President Judge "strongly believe[s] that the proposed new policies would be serious impediments to the administration of justice in all of the courtrooms of Philadelphia";

NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association, for the reasons stated by Administrative and President Judges of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, opposes any effort to eliminate mandatory arbitration in uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance policies; and

IT IS HEREBY FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association directs the Chancellor or his designee(s) to bring this resolution to the attention of the Governor, the Insurance Commissioner and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to urge them to oppose the proposed elimination of mandatory arbitration of UM/UIM cases.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: FEBRUARY 28, 2002