Arbitration is one of many dispute resolution methods (litigation, mediation, arbitration, negotiations). Arbitration falls in the category of “alternative dispute resolution” because it provides an alternative to filing a formal lawsuit and having a case heard in court by a judge. Many contracts require that the parties participate in arbitration.
Arbitration is similar to a court hearing, with testimony and evidence. However, it is instead of being presided over by a judge, the case is heard by an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators who take the role of judge. The decision could be final, or there could be an avenue for an appeal. Because arbitration is not a court hearing, it can be viewed as less formal or less important – this may not be the case.
Arbitration, while private and informal, is a very legal process. The resulting decision could be very positive for you and/or your business, but it could also have lasting negative consequences. Because, typically, some significant financial interest is as stake, it you want to have a lawyer represent you. Utilizing the services of a lawyer avoids the steep learning curve about the process. Arbitration, particularly business or employment arbitration is a specialized field. Arbitration lawyers are a specialized field of attorneys and typically have significant experience in negotiating the trial process and working through the different aspects of the issues. Utilizing the services of an Arbitration lawyer can support you in developing a strategic argument in your case, and has the potential of drastically improving the outcome of an arbitration and assisting you in presenting the best case for your desired outcome.
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