IPI, CCC arbitration process starts


Commonwealth Casino Commission executive director Andrew Yeom talks about, among other issues, CCC’s and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s first status conference before an arbitrator, during CCC board’s monthly meeting at the Springs Plaza Building in Gualo Rai last Wednesday.(FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

The Commonwealth Casino Commission and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC made their first appearance before an arbitrator last Wednesday morning.

CCC executive director Andrew Yeom informed the CCC board last week that they had their first status conference before the arbitrator via a virtual platform.

Yeom told Saipan Tribune yesterday that he is unable to remember the name of the arbitrator, but that he is a very experienced attorney in the U.S. mainland.

Yeom said the parties identified the issues at hand in summary and that they also discussed the deadlines and procedural rules, among other things.

He disclosed that CCC submitted the requested documents to the arbitrator last Nov. 16.

The executive director said both CCC and IPI sent the agenda items last Nov. 21.

Last Aug. 24, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted IPI’s request for a preliminary injunction against IPI to prohibit the CCC from revoking IPI’s exclusive casino license.

Manglona issued the order to allow IPI to pursue its right to arbitration. She ordered CCC to participate in the arbitration process.

Last September, CCC board chair Edward C. Deleon Guerrero expressed a belief that, in his opinion the arbitration process is just a waste of time and money. Deleon Guerrero said the arbitration decision is not binding, but nevertheless it’s a process that they need to accept and need to follow and comply with Manglona’s order.

Arbitration is essentially a procedure wherein two parties agree on one or more arbitrators to make a decision in their dispute in order to resolve a disagreement outside of court proceedings.

The parties in this case informed the court last August that the American Arbitration Association has accepted the case of Best Sunshine International and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC against the Commonwealth Casino Commission to serve as a non-binding arbitrator.

According to court documents, BSI and IPI filed their notice of AAA case acceptance last Aug. 17 to notify the court that the AAA International Centre for Dispute Resolution will proceed to administer this arbitration as a non-binding arbitration under the ICDR’s International Arbitration Rules.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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