Why Arbitrate?

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.


Faster resolution

  • 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.


Less expensive

  • 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.


Less formal

  • 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).




Permanent link to this article: http://www.iowaarbitrators.com/whyarbitrate/