For clients looking to avoid the time, expense, and exposure of litigation, arbitration takes the legal proceedings out of the courtroom into a more private arena.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a more expedient alternative to litigation, in which both parties and their lawyers appear in front of an arbitrator outside of a courtroom. This arbitrator is an independent third party who is an expert in the field.
The case proceeds in a similar fashion to litigation, in which evidence is presented and witnesses may be called, but the process is faster than a court trial and completely confidential.
Unlike mediation, there is no negotiating between the parties. The arbitrator will make a decision at the end of the process on all issues, and that decision is binding and not subject to appeal.
Who is a good candidate?
Individuals who have reached an impasse in negotiations but still wish to avoid the cost of litigation may seek to go through arbitration. Arbitration is confidential, and clients with large estates or business assets may employ arbitration to ensure the details of their dispute remain entirely confidential and behind closed doors.
What is the process?
Both parties agree to arbitration and to abide by the arbitrator’s ruling. The date, time, and location of the hearing is agreed upon by both parties, which means it is not subject to a court’s schedule, but to their own. Both parties and their respective attorneys meet in front of the arbitrator and argue their case, presenting evidence and calling witnesses if necessary. At the resolution of the process, which is typically much faster than litigation, the arbitrator makes a binding decision.