Why Arbitration is a Good Alternative to the Courtroom


Civil litigation is often a lengthy, expensive process for the parties involved. It is not unusual for the parties to spend years resolving their disputes, incurring thousands of dollars in attorney fees and court costs in the process.

Not all disputes must be resolved in the courtroom. By utilizing arbitration, the case is taken out of the courthouse and resolved in a more efficient, less expensive, more expeditious manner.

Arbitration is often preferred to a costly and time consuming trial. In arbitration, a third party neutral, called the arbitrator, reviews all evidence submitted by the parties during a hearing and typically issues a binding decision after the conclusion of the hearing. This means that the parties have essentially had the benefit of a bench trial, or a non-jury trial, without the expense and delay of traditional litigation.

Arbitration can significantly accelerate the resolution of civil cases. In traditional courtroom litigation, it can take years for space on a trial docket to open up, forcing the parties to wait for their day in court. Arbitration is a much more expeditious process—the parties select an arbitrator, agree on the scope of discovery and get their case scheduled for hearing at a mutually agreeable time.

The expense of arbitration is also typically less than what a trial would cost the parties. Written discovery, depositions and preparation are usually streamlined. Furthermore, arbitration is very often less complicated than a trial, saving significant expenses.

Arbitration is also a private process, whereas a trial is a public event. At trial, testimony, evidence, and exhibits are in the public record. Many parties cringe at the idea of their dispute being exposed in such a manner—and are much more comfortable in privacy afforded by arbitration.