Arbitration has became a central component in the resolution of legal disputes, but is it right for you? The following are pros and cons of legal arbitration, and can help you make an informed decision on when to choose arbitration for your own legal matter. If you have further questions, or would like to schedule an appointment with a legal arbitrator and lawyer, call a lawyer today.
The Pros of Arbitration
Arbitration is a type of dispute resolution that offers a number of benefits over litigation, hearings, and trials.
Wards of Hostility – All parties involved in the arbitration process are encouraged to be active and even help with the resolution. This participation typically results in everyone amicably working together rather than against one another in a hostile manner, which is more common in litigation.
Cost Affordable – As arbitration becomes more popular, the cost of hiring an experienced lawyer has became more reasonable. Although it can cost several thousand dollars, this is usually less than litigation.
Faster than Litigation – The average time to resolve a legal dispute through arbitration is approximately 475 days; whereas a similar litigation case can take between 18 and 36 months. An arbitration hearing can typically be scheduled around the availability of everyone involved. This includes weekends and evenings.
Simplified Procedure – The legal process of litigation can be convoluted and complex, particularly when it comes to evidence. Because the rules of arbitration are different from those of litigation, the overall process is less stilted. Furthermore, it can be better adapted to the needs of those involved.
Private and Confidential – Arbitration proceedings are typically private and confidential. This means that the proceedings and terms are not made public as in the case of litigation matters. This can safeguard those involved from embarrassment, shame, or the revealing of private information.
The Cons of Arbitration
When it comes to arbitration, there are possible drawbacks including:
Limited Legal Recourse – If you come to an agreement, only to realize that it was unfair or impractical, you could be barred from taking the matter to court.
Advantageous to Certain Parties – There are concerns of arbitration works in favor of large employers or corporations, especially when the challenger has less money and power. Whether this holds true could be dependent upon your particular case.
Questionable Objectivity – If you legal matter involves an agency who chooses an arbitrator from a list, there could be concerns of objective favoritism. Furthermore, some national arbitration groups market their services to credit card issuing agencies or retailers which has raised questions regarding the alleged arbitrators’ objectivity.
Potentially Biased – Arbitration proceedings are typically held in private which means the decisions are usually not accessible by the public. Although this can be beneficial, the lack of transparency could make the process more likely to be biased.
Are You Interested In Learning More About the Arbitration Process?
If you are involved in a legal dispute and are considering alternative dispute resolutions, such as arbitration, call an attorney to discuss your situation and any questions you might have.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into arbitration.