If you find yourself in a dispute with a contractor or in a dispute over money with family members (perhaps concerning a will) or you’re suffering from debt that’s never seems to stop piling up, you’re probably wondering what the heck you can do to solve your problem.
One of the easiest solutions, especially if you want to avoid a costly court fiasco, is to look to arbitrator for help. One of the great things about arbitrators and the arbitration process is that it can be a very easy way to settle a dispute and you don’t have to go to court to do it whether it’s a product liability issue, a bankruptcy, a patent law dispute or something else entirely.
If you’re considering using stand-by mediation or arbitration to resolve a dispute, it’s a good route to take. But you should know that this kind of process isn’t for everyone and there are several advantages and disadvantages to choosing arbitration.
- Saving money: Solving a dispute through arbitration is much less expensive than going to court. An arbitrator doesn’t charge as much as an attorney and disputes are often settled much faster because there’s not the usual time wasted on calling witnesses or testifying. In many cases, documents are submitted by both parties and then reviewed by an arbitrator before he or she reaches a final decision.
- Solving problems: Another great benefit of working with an arbitrator is that they set arbitration dates, which helps bring a quicker end to most disputes than a court case does. You may not know it, but experts say the percentage of civil cases that actually reach trial in Federal courts is estimated at about one percent, so even for high level disputes that need resolving, arbitration is still a good choice.
- Fairness: Perhaps the best part of working with an arbitrator through the arbitration process is that arbitrators are fair and impartial. That means when he or she makes a decision, it’s binding and final, but it also makes it easier for both sides to accept the final decision that’s reached.
- Privacy: Trials are usually done in public settings and can make people uncomfortable. Fortunately, arbitration cases are settled in private, which can make both parties feel more comfortable about the process.
- Questions: Make no mistake, the goal of an arbitrator is to be fair and impartial, but each one is different. Depending on the case, an arbitrator may consider both positions of the parties concerned to figure out what’s “fair” rather simply going by the book.
- Last word: Opting for arbitration is more private for sure, but once an arbitrator rules it’s often a binding decision. That means there’s not much of an opportunity (if any) to appeal a decision you don’t agree with. Basically what they say goes and you have to live with the ruling, even if it doesn’t end well for you.
- Limitations: There are some instances where both parties involved in a dispute can’t agree to arbitration until they are already involved in litigation. At that point, both parties may still end up spending quite a bit of money on legal fees.
- Money: Depending on how much money you may be trying to gain from a favorable ruling, arbitration may not be the best choice for resolution. Let’s say you’re a company trying to recoup thousands or million of dollars from a client. If that much money is involved, it may be more pertinent to pursue a trial.
As you can see there are many pros and cons to trying to settle a dispute using an arbitrator. Before you commit to going through the arbitration process, consider all the factors involved, including what kind of dispute in question, the amount of money involved, the odds of getting a favorable ruling and how quickly you would like to bring about a solution to your dispute.