It's widely-known that most lawsuits are settled before a judge or jury rules on the case. Indeed settlements occur in the neighborhood of 90-95% of cases. It's also well known that of the cases that don't settle, many will be appealed, bringing another round of litigation and delay in ultimate resolution. Considering the expense and delay involved in most court proceedings, it's no wonder that arbitration is on the rise as the preferred methodology for resolving business disputes.
Benefits of Arbitration
The benefits of resolving conflicts with arbitration are clear:
• Privacy - Arbitration is considered a private proceeding, unlike litigation, and arbitration testimony cannot be used in a later court date.
• Speed - Most arbitrations can be resolved in a few months or even a few weeks.
• Structure - Arbitration represents a middle ground between the formality of the court and the informality of mediation, as it is structured but much less heavily than litigation.
• Costs - Arbitration does not involve the court fees and endless billable hours of attorneys, making it very cost effective.
Most importantly, arbitration increases the odds that the solution arrived at will be acceptable to both parties, for a number of reasons:
• The arbitrator or arbitrators are agreed on by both sides of the conflict, and thus can be chosen for their expertise in the field. Thus, unlike a judge they render decisions based on experience of the industry or market.
• In most cases arbitration is binding, which does not allow for appeal. Thus, when an arbitrator rules that's the end of the process, no matter what.
• Arbitration's privacy encourages more forthright and open exchanges, as well as more direct negotiation, as there is no fear of the information becoming public knowledge.
• The direct involvement of both sides in the proceedings encourages a more open and engaged negotiation, as each side feels empowered to make their case - especially with an arbitrator who understands their business.
Arbitration is also becoming accepted as a legitimate way to resolve conflict without giving up rights. Courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, have ruled consistently that under most circumstances, binding arbitration offers a legitimate way to protect the rights of individuals and businesses while resolving disputes. This combined with the benefits that arbitration has for the court system (reducing the stress on overloaded courts) makes arbitration a natural choice for businesses to deal with conflict.
If you're involved in a dispute, consult with Bert Binder of Affordable Dispute Resolution. Mr. Binder has handled different types of cases as a litigator and mediator and has helped people reach fair & affordable resolutions over matters involving business, employment, labor, real estate and probate disputes. Visit http://www.affordabledisputeresolution.com or call 201-790-3553.