The litigious society that the United States is slowly becoming can greatly affect businesses since they are exposed to legal issues. 

With that being said, parties involved in business disputes may opt for an alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as a business arbitration conducted by an expert legal advisor. 

In this article, you will discover how business arbitration works in Florida.

The Concept of Arbitration

Arbitration is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) wherein two or more disputing parties agree to rely on an arbitrator to settle their dispute.

The arbitrator is a neutral party to the arbitration in charge of deciding the dispute’s outcome after hearing both parties’ arguments and reviewing evidence. In other words, it mirrors a trial in practice considering that the parties need to present their evidence and support their side of the story.

In Florida, many entrepreneurs choose to include arbitration clauses when drafting a business contract because it requires that the parties must resolve their disputes through an arbitration process.

In contrast to a formal trial in court, arbitration is more cost-effective and involves fewer formalities. Additionally, the process is much quicker than a traditional business litigation process.

Nonetheless, arbitration is a legally binding procedure; thus, the arbitrator will make a decision (an award, in legal terms) and an unsatisfied party cannot reverse the decision by accessing a judicial court.

Understanding the Process

The arbitration process is comprised of four distinct phases in Florida:

  1. Both parties initiated the process. 
  2. A neutral arbitrator is selected. 
  3. Hearing procedures transpire. 
  4. The neutral arbitrator determines each party’s award.

Initiating an Arbitration Process

An arbitration process can be initiated voluntarily or by contractual obligation; despite the fact, the disputing parties must agree with several factors throughout the process, including: 

The location where the business dispute will be arbitrated.

Whether the process will have customized rules or will abide to the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

Whether to select one neutral arbitrator or a tribunal of arbitrators

Choosing the Ideal Arbitrator

When choosing a neutral arbitrator, it is important that they are knowledgeable about the subjects involved in the dispute. If there is a business dispute, for example, the arbitrator could be an expert business attorney

After an ideal arbitrator is chosen, the disputing parties can hold a preliminary hearing to determine whether they can include evidence and witnesses in the process.

Then, the disputing parties must share their evidence with the opposing party during the discovery period. 

Because the rules vary according to each process, ensure to work with an expert business attorney in Florida.

The Hearing Procedures

Arbitration hearings are much less formal than court trials; in fact, the disputing parties can select the location and schedule of the hearings.

Throughout the process, each party will have the opportunity to challenge the evidence presented by the opposing party. 

After the evidence presented by each disputing party is reviewed, the arbitrator(s) will make the final decision. 

Receiving the Arbitrator’s Award

The arbitrator’s final decision determines the outcome of the dispute, and it is legally binding. It is important to note that, unlike mediation, the arbitrator’s final decision has extremely limited recourse for appeal.

However, if there is evidence of fraud or misconduct during the hearing process, a Florida court may review the case.

Do You Need to Solve a Business Dispute with Arbitration? – We Can Help You

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) requires an expert approach; in other words, you need the guidance and assistance of qualified and experienced business attorneys. At Jurado & Associates, P.A., we have the knowledge and expertise to help you make the best decisions for your business.

Contact us today by phone at (305) 921-0976, by email at [email protected], or by WhatsApp at +1 (305) 921-0976.