What Is An Arbitration?
If you are worried about litigation costs, court congestion, and delays in your case, then an arbitration will be able to solve your problem. Without having a civil court lawsuit or trial that can give negative emotional impact to you, this alternative dispute resolution technique can be a great way to settle your case.
Compared to a trial, an arbitration is a less formal way of dealing with a case. In this arrangement, an arbitrator is hired by both parties to judge and make final decisions. This decision is non-appealable and can only be appealable in certain circumstances. An advantage that an arbitration gives you is that you can choose your judge and when and where you want the case to be heard which is not possible when you have a court trial.
The Pros Of Having An Arbitration
-Arbitration will cost you less than litigation. The process is also shorter and informal.
-Both parties have control over the selection of an arbitrator.
-The hearings of an arbitration are private and the results will not be a part of a public record.
The Cons Of Having An Arbitration
-The evidence process is informal in an arbitration. This means that sorting out the evidence mainly depends on the arbitrator’s skills and experience. An arbitration also has no interrogatories or discovery process.
-No formal appeals process. Since an arbitrator’s decision is non-appealable, you may not be able to protest his decision unless you can prove that the arbitrator was biased or acted with malice.
-Because arbitrations are private hearings, it can be a disadvantage to another party.
How To Start The Arbitration Process?
The arbitration process starts with a party sending a letter that demands an arbitration. The opposing party should send a response also in writing that will indicate if they believe that the case is arbitrable. After this, the parties will then choose an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators for the dispute.
The process of arbitration is almost similar to a trial where the parties will make an opening and closing arguments, will present testimonies and witnesses and documents. Evidentiary rules are not applicable to arbitration.
Different Forms Of Arbitration
Public employees in the United States such as police, teachers, and firefighters are required to participate in an arbitration to negotiate the terms of their collective bargaining agreements. This kind of arbitration is used to prevent a strike that might affect the public. This is also called a binding arbitration because the decision made in this kind of arbitration is binding and final.
Court Annexed Arbitration
In this kind of arbitration, the parties will have the right to bring the case to a trial if they are not satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision. Court annexed arbitration will also require the parties to arbitrate instead of voluntarily participating in the process.
Deciding whether to have an arbitration, mediation or a trial can be very tricky and difficult. Conflicts may also occur especially if both parties can not decide or agree with one decision. But having enough knowledge on the pros and cons of an arbitration and the steps that should be taken for it will help you weigh in your decision.