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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Why and Why Not of Using an Arbitrator

By Lindsay Cashman

Hold on tight because today we are going to explore the exciting and much misunderstood differences between going to an arbitrator vs. legislation. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), but, as opposed to the other most popular ADR forum called mediation, at the end of the process the winner of the case is decided by the arbitration committee rather than the disputing parties.

Arbitration Advantages

In order to understand the advantages that arbitration brings, it is important to look into the very nature of its alternative, which is the judicial proceedings or court proceedings. In litigation, the parties do not choose the judge. The process is long and tedious and because of this, becomes expensive after each hearing. The difficulty in a court process is that the judge, or the jury in some jurisdictions, are not expected nor have the experience in the subject matter. They have knowledge of the law but rarely do not posses any specialized knowledge of the subject of dispute. While arbitration is almost always a closed and private process, whereas the judicial process is imbued with public interest, thus almost all records of judicial proceedings are made available to the public.

Arbitration proceedings are almost painless compared to going through a triple bypass surgery, um, i mean, trial court. The arbitrator gets right to the point of dispute, hears both sides and makes a decision. With an arbitrator you also have the option of speaking English, which is good if your native language is not Litigation Gibberish. The time that it saves ends up saving everyone time, money and stress.


Although I may have made it seem that arbitration is heavens gift to dispute resolution, there are a few disadvantages. So listen my children and you shall hear of, um, them. First off all, one does not need to be a judge in order to be qualified to be an arbitrator. But as long as you set your standards high for picking a good arbitrator, this should not be a problem. Additionally, many arbitrators are certified as judges, and many others are extremely knowledgeable and experienced lawyers. Also, if you any party wants to appeal the arbitral decision that cannot be done in an arbitration hearing, rather it gets taken to court, which can kind of, well, suck.


Now that you have received this awesome dispute resolution educational introduction from this exciting article it is time for you, my little duckling, to go out on your own in the great big world and make your own decision.

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