A Brief Introduction to Business Arbitration

As a business owner, disputes are probably not something new to you. Whether with customers, subcontractors, suppliers, or employees, when interests collide problems often arise. Thankfully, you have a number of options when you want to resolve your business dispute within the legal framework. You can go the litigation route where you take your case to the courts and have a judge make a legally binding decision or you can go with some form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as arbitration or mediation, and have your dispute resolved outside of the courts.

If you’re positive that you have a strong case and have the capital to afford the potentially long and costly process that is litigation then it might be your best bet. In most cases, though, the ADR process known as arbitration is the most efficient and mutually beneficial choice. Generally speaking, arbitration consists of the two disputing parties agreeing to have their case heard by a neutral arbitrator (and sometimes a tribunal of neutral arbitrators) outside of court. The process is usually much less formal than litigation and follows predetermined rules regarding things like procedure and evidence. The two parties agree to be legally bound by the arbitrator’s decision regarding the dispute. Read on to learn about all you need to know about business arbitration and how it can help you solve your disputes.

The first thing you should know about arbitration is that it is a consensual process, meaning both parties in the dispute must agree with the process and be willing to be involved in the arbitration in order to be effective. While, on one hand, this means that an ultimate resolution relies on the disputing parties and not the arbitrator or arbitration panel, it also generally leads to a faster and more amicable process than what can be expected in the courts. The American Arbitration Association estimates that, on average, arbitration cases conclude up to three times faster than their litigation counterparts, averaging a mere 7.9 months.

One of the biggest benefits of the arbitration process, especially to businesses, is its confidentiality. When going through litigation many of the details of the case may be made public, whereas with arbitration there is no public process and, oftentimes, the disputing parties will agree to keep the dispute and possible resolution confidential. In the business world—where your reputation means everything—this can provide tremendous value.

In contrast to the litigation system, which is constrained by the law, arbitrators and arbitration panels have much more flexibility in how they approach the case. For example, evidence that may be excluded in a court could be accepted by an arbitrator. Furthermore, arbitrators are often selected due to their expertise, so disputing parties can select an arbitrator that specializes in whichever business issue is most related to their case, whereas in litigation, it would not be unusual for the presiding judge to have no real experience in your industry or issue.

Finally, and probably most importantly, remember that the basis for arbitration is the contract. As a consensual process the disputing parties must agree to submit to the process. All of the rights and obligations of the disputing parties are decided upon and dictated by the arbitration agreement. This is why it is important to have a skilled arbitration lawyer on your side to ensure that all of your rights and interests are covered by the contract prior to the start of any business arbitration.

If you’re looking to bring your dispute to a professional arbitrator it is important to have a strong arbitration lawyer on your side to represent your company’s best interests. Look to the attorneys of APH Law to help guide you through the process and ensure you get the best legal support throughout your dispute. Visit us online or call us today at (253) 720-3020.

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Written by APH Law PLLC

APH Law PLLC

When we founded APH Law PLLC in 2010, we did so out of a desire to connect business owners with more and better opportunities. No matter what industry you’re operating in, creating a strong foundation, preparing for the future, and protecting against challenges are key to long-term success. It is this kind of support that we take tremendous pride in helping businesses.