In an arbitration, parties select a neutral, or panel of neutrals, to decide the merits of their case. It is an alternative to litigation.
In mediation, the parties control the outcome through a structured negotiation process designed by the mediator. In arbitration, on the other hand, the focus of the parties is on the process. As one report put it,
“It represents parties’ freedom of choice, the freedom to design a resolution process that fits their needs and expectations, that balances their notions of due process with efficiency, and that selects a decision maker who they believe will best understand their custom and practice and apply the norms and standards of their field to arrive at a wise, fair and equitable determination of their dispute.”
With limited exceptions, an arbitration award is enforceable in court both domestically and internationally. Arbitration has the benefit of providing a binding outcome while keeping the parties out of traditional litigation, which can be time consuming and costly.
Other benefits of arbitration include:
- Private proceedings: Typically, arbitration will be conducted privately and parties can elect to keep the final decisions and details private.
- Flexibility: Arbitration meetings can be scheduled more simply than trials.
- Simplified discovery and evidence rules: Discovery and decisions about admissibility of evidence can be more easily adapted to the needs of the parties than in a typical trial, which reduces time and cost.
Jeff is available to serve as a neutral on panels deciding a select range of commercial disputes in which he has extensive experience as an attorney and advisor. He is currently on several arbitration panels including the Massachusetts Legal Fee Arbitration Board and the Better Business Bureau.
We provide free or low cost arbitration for selected cases referred by litigators for which they are providing free or low cost services.