While mediation's flexibility makes it a good fit for so many cases, arbitration may be more suitable for some. Arbitration is more structured than mediation, giving participants less control over the process and results. Whether this is an advantage or disadvantage depends on the participants and their preferences. In arbitration, the parties to a dispute present their arguments and evidence to an impartial arbitrator who, much as a judge would, renders a decision based on the merits of the case.
Arbitration is conducted according to a set of rules, and Resolution Remedies offers some flexibility in this regard. We can conduct your arbitration pursuant to statute, arbitration clause, and/or the rules of another ADR provider.
Benefits of Arbitration
- Finality—With binding arbitration, the arbitratorís decision/award is final and unappealable. In mediation, the participants are the decision makers as to resolution, and they may not be able to reach a settlement. In binding arbitration, the neutral arbitrator brings certain resolution with her or his decision or award. This provides disputants with "an end in sight" and allows them to return to peace and normality as quickly as possible.
- Structure—Arbitration's rules and formality keep the proceedings on track and on schedule.
- Cost-Effective—Protracted litigation can wreak financial havoc on all sides to a dispute. Arbitration prevents runaway costs, saving thousands in court and attorney fees.
- Time Saving—Unlike the backlogged court calendars that can drag litigation on for years, arbitration can be scheduled and completed quickly to resolve the dispute timely and without the stress of trial.
- Privacy—Unlike a court trial, the arbitration and award are kept confidential, which limits public exposure while preserving traditional practices of jurisprudence in a trial-like setting.
- Minimal Business Interruption—Some commercial disputes require immediate resolution to spare the parties unnecessary business stoppage and lost revenue. Arbitration accommodates participants who want to get back to work as quickly as possible.
- Choice of Law—The parties can agree to conduct the arbitration under the laws of a specific jurisdiction. For example, an importer of goods from a foreign country can add language to the purchase agreement that stipulates arbitration under the state law of California in the event a dispute arises.
Types of Arbitration
- Binding Arbitration—the parties agree to waive their right to a jury trial and appoint an independent arbitrator who will render a final decision that the parties are bound to abide by.
- Non-Binding Arbitration—The parties agree to submit their case to a neutral arbitrator, but each party reserves the right to litigate the case in court if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. The arbitratorís award is essentially an informed opinion of the case that may convince the parties to settle. Since the award is non-binding, the parties retain the option to pursue mediation, binding arbitration, or trial after the proceeding.
- Court Ordered Arbitration—The judge presiding over a case may appoint an arbitrator, especially if mediation may not be appropriate and the amount in dispute is too small to justify protracted litigation.
- Mandatory Arbitration—Contracts between the parties, and statutes may mandate arbitration in some cases.