The value of arbitration lies in the control,
choice and flexibility it affords the parties in resolving their dispute.
Control over the process
- The process can be tailored to serve the particular needs of the parties, including shortened deadlines, limited discovery, relaxation of evidentiary rules, and flexible trial schedule.
- The hearing can be scheduled when and where it is convenient for the parties.
- The hearing and decision can be kept confidential.
- An arbitration hearing can be scheduled sooner than a trial date could be reached in court.
- Arbitration avoids last minute continuances due to unavailability of judges, court personnel or courtroom space.
- The delay inherent in any dispute can be mitigated with prompt and dependable arbitration, especially where a pending dispute affects an ongoing commercial project or future business plans.
- An arbitral decision is final, avoiding lengthy post-trial motions and appeals.
More control over the outcome
- The parties can reduce risk through high/low limits on award.
- The parties can fashion alternative remedies.
- The parties can provide for long-term solutions when an ongoing relationship exists between the parties.
Choice of decision maker
- The parties can choose an arbitrator they trust to make a fair and impartial decision in an efficient manner.
- The parties can choose an arbitrator with experience in the substantive area in dispute.
- The high cost of litigation can be avoided when an arbitration hearing is structured to be less time-consuming and more flexible.
- The parties can control the cost of discovery.
Less time consuming
- The parties can set a schedule that extends beyond the typical hours used in a court setting.
- An arbitrator, unlike a trial judge, will not be interrupted to hear other matters at the courthouse. The arbitrator’s sole focus will be on the hearing at hand.
- The informal setting of an arbitration hearing can lessen the contentiousness that so often occurs at trial, a feature of the process that may be particularly important where the parties will have an ongoing relationship.
- The parties can agree to waive or modify the rules of evidence to allow more informal and faster submission of evidence.
“By agreeing to arbitrate a statutory claim, a party does not forgo the substantive rights afforded by the statute . . . . It trades the procedures and opportunity for review of the courtroom for the simplicity, informality, and expedition of arbitration.”
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. v. Soler Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 628 (1985).