Most people do not understand the main differences between litigation and arbitration, so I will do my best to explain what each of these dispute resolution methods is, what they are not, how they work, and how to choose the right one for your case.

Understanding Arbitration

Arbitration has become a very popular dispute resolution method in recent years. However, most people do not have a clear understanding of what it is or how it works exactly.

Essentially, arbitration is a process in which disputing parties agree to submit the dispute to one or more neutral individuals – known as arbitrators – who will review the case, hear both sides, and make a binding decision regarding the dispute.

The Advantages of Arbitration

The main advantage of arbitration is that it is far less expensive and time-consuming than litigation. However, there are many other characteristics that make it a highly efficient dispute resolution method, such as the fact that it is consensual; in other words, it can only happen if both parties agree to it. 

Another great thing about arbitration is that it is confidential, unlike a trial. In addition, when a dispute is resolved through arbitration, the parties get to choose the arbitrator(s). They can either select a single arbitrator or opt to have a three-person arbitral tribunal, in which case each party appoints one arbitrator, and then the two appointed arbitrators choose a third person who will be the presiding arbitrator.

The Arbitration Process

Simply put, the arbitration process is an informal meeting in which a neutral individual hears the evidence presented by two disputing parties, after which the arbitrator makes a final and binding decision about the dispute. In Florida, arbitration can be negotiated and agreed to by disputing parties.

However, it can also be mandatory if two disputing parties signed a contract that contained an arbitration clause. In this case, if a dispute arises, even if one of the parties decides to go to court, upon taking a look at the contract the parties signed, the court will enforce mandatory arbitration.

The Main Differences Between Litigation and Arbitration

Time

One of the main reasons why arbitration has become so popular in recent years is how fast the process can be when compared to litigation. Generally, arbitration takes a lot less time because disputing parties do not have to wait for a busy court to have time to hear their case. In litigation, most of what you do is wait, and cases can go unresolved for months or even years.

In addition, appeals are not as common in arbitration as they are in litigation, which also contributes to the speediness of the process.

Finality

Arbitration decisions are final and binding. If you lose a dispute through arbitration and decide to appeal the decision, it will probably get you nowhere, as courts can only turn over a decision made by an arbitrator if there is solid evidence of fraud or corruption.

So, if you are considering resolving a dispute through arbitration but think you will probably want to appeal if you end up losing, then litigation is a better option for you.

Privacy

Another one of the main differences between litigation and arbitration is privacy. Nobody wants to be involved in a fight. However, when fighting is the only option, you do not want it to be public. Disputes resolved through traditional litigation become a matter of public record, while disputes settled through arbitration do not – they remain private.

Are You in the Midst of a Dispute? I Can Help You Settle It

If you are in the midst of a dispute, I can help you find the best way to settle it. If the other party wants to take you to court, I can negotiate on your behalf and get them to agree to settle the dispute through arbitration, which will save you a lot of time and money. Then, I will represent you throughout the arbitration process. 

In addition, if you are entering into a contract, I can negotiate a mandatory arbitration clause to make sure any disputes that arise are settled through arbitration. However, if litigation is the only option, I will work as hard as I can to represent you, protect you throughout the process, and do everything within my power to make sure you win.

Call me today at (305) 921-0440 or email me at Romy@jflawfirm.com to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about my services.

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