June 26, 2024
What to Know – Arbitration of a Legal Dispute

Are you in a legal dispute with a party and been advised by your attorney that you must attend arbitration? Here’s what you need to know about arbitration.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution where parties agree to submit their disagreements to one or more arbitrators, which in many circumstances takes the place of going to court. Arbitration is generally favored by courts as a less formal and potentially faster alternative to litigation. Unless ordered by the court to attend an arbitration prior to trial, the reason parties may arbitrate a matter is generally contractual. Parties may be required to arbitrate a matter if their contract includes an arbitration clause specifying that disputes arising from the contract are to be resolved through arbitration.

An agreement to arbitrate can be either be binding or non-binding on the parties. A binding arbitration agreement makes arbitration the exclusive legal remedy for resolving claims in accordance with the contract. In binding arbitration, a decision is final and enforceable and therefore, similar to a court judgment. The arbitrator’s award in binding arbitration resolves the dispute conclusively and once the arbitrator makes his/her judgment, the award is final and must be abided by the parties irrespective of whether they approve of the outcome. There are very limited exceptions, which allow for judicial review of the arbitrator’s decision.

In non-binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is not final or enforceable, and the parties have the option to reject the arbitration award and proceed to trial if they are dissatisfied with the outcome at arbitration. This type of arbitration is generally less formal, involves minimal presentation of evidence or testimony, and generally relies on arguments made by the parties’ attorneys.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of arbitration?

(1) Speed and Efficiency: Arbitration is generally faster than court litigation. It is designed to resolve disputes more quickly and reduce the time spent in legal proceedings.

(2) Cost-Effectiveness: While arbitration can sometimes involve significant fees, it often remains cheaper than litigation due to its swifter resolution, which can potentially reduce legal fees and costs associated with prolonged court cases.

(3) Limited Judicial Review: Decisions in binding arbitration under Florida law are final and subject to very limited judicial review. The decision of the arbitrators in binding arbitration can only be modified or vacated on a showing of very specific grounds.

(4) Flexibility: Parties in arbitration can often agree on many procedural aspects, such as where the arbitration will take place, and there are also more relaxed rules of evidence. If the development of your case is dependent upon enforcing the strict rules of evidence applicable in court, then your case may be better off in court.

(5) Expert Decision-Makers: Parties often have the option to choose arbitrators with specific expertise relevant to their dispute, which can lead to more informed decisions.

(6) Privacy: Unlike court cases, which are typically public, arbitration proceedings are private This is a factor that is generally considered to be a benefit of arbitration.

When is arbitration a good idea?

When considering arbitration, it is important to understand these characteristics and evaluate whether they align with the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if confidentiality and avoiding the formalities and prolonged nature of court proceedings are priorities, arbitration could be an ideal forum for your case.

An effective and thorough attorney can help you navigate this process and be fully prepared for arbitration of your dispute. If you have found yourself in a dispute that involves either binding or non-binding arbitration and either you do not have an attorney, or would like a second opinion on your case, please contact the attorneys at Boatman Ricci to schedule a consultation. We can be reached at 239-33-1494.

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THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. THE READER SHOULD CONSULT WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE LEGAL COUNSEL TO DETERMINE HOW APPLICABLE LAWS APPLY TO SPECIFIC FACTS AND SITUATIONS. BLOG POSTS ARE BASED ON THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION AT THE TIME THEY ARE WRITTEN. SINCE IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE LAWS OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE PUBLICATION, PLEASE CALL US TO DISCUSS ANY ACTION YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING AS A RESULT OF READING THIS BLOG.

Published: June 26, 2024
Author: Bo Boatman
Categories : Uncategorized