Arbitrate or litigate. Which is best for solving a legal dispute?
Well, it depends who you ask. First let’s look at the pros of arbitration
It’s a more efficient way to resolve disputes, better than lengthy litigation, court hearing and trials. Next is cost – arbitration is usually less expensive than litigation, and there is more flexibility. Arbitration hearings can be held on nights and weekends. Litigation is subject to the court calendar. It’s simpler- sometimes there is no discovery, no depositions. Getting witnesses and documents is usually handled with a phone call. And privacy- unlike court proceedings, arbitration hearings can be kept private and the results confidential.
Now the cons:
You have limited recourse. If you’re dealt a bad hand in binding arbitration you’re stuck with it. An uneven playing field. The “take it or leave it” approach may favor a large company with more power and resources. Questionable objectively. As in: who chooses the arbitrator? If that person is picked by the other side from a pool list, an outcome that is favorable to the other side, may get the arbitrator more business. And lack of transparency, privacy can lead to decisions being tainted or bias. And decisions are rarely reviewed by the courts. So again, you’re stuck with the outcome. It’s a lot to consider.
So before you make any decisions on agreeing to arbitration, or signing a mandatory arbitration clause, call an experience business law attorney. Call Paul Burkhart or visit paulburkhart.net.