Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is very common in business disputes, breach of contract claims, and disputes within the real estate and construction industry. Couples who divorce may also elect to resolve their differences through arbitration.
When arbitration is chosen as a method of resolving a disagreement, the role of the arbitrator is a very important one. The arbitrator essentially acts as a judge would if the case went to court. The arbitrator will hear arguments and evidence presented by the parties involved in the dispute and will make a binding decision to resolve the disagreement.
For individuals and businesses involved in a dispute that will be resolved through arbitration, it is essential to have proper legal representation. An experienced San Diego business law attorney at Sepahi Law Group, APC can represent you throughout the process of arbitration and help you to make a compelling argument to protect your rights.
Understanding the Role of an Arbitrator
When a disagreement or dispute arises and the parties are not able to resolve their differences on their own or through voluntary mediation, a third party must step in to make a decision on whose position should prevail. When the dispute is resolved through litigation, a judge or a jury hears the evidence and arguments and makes a binding decision that the parties must comply with.
Litigation can be very costly for all involved parties, especially as there are strict rules for how evidence can be presented and the process of a court hearing can take a long time. Litigation can also result in embarrassing or private information becoming public. Finally, when the dispute arises in a technical industry, or when understanding the context of the dispute requires specialized or industry-specific knowledge, a judge or jury may not be in the best position to resolve the disagreement.
Arbitration is an alternative to litigation. The process of arbitration can be less costly, and the disagreement and outcome of the case can remain private. An arbitrator can also be selected that has inside knowledge and a deep understanding of the issues about which the disagreement is centered.
Parties can elect to resolve their disagreement through arbitration at the time when the dispute arises; however, it is more likely that disputes will be submitted to arbitration because parties agreed this would be the process before a problem arises. For example, many real estate contracts contain an arbitration clause and many companies also include arbitration clauses in product terms and conditions or employment agreements.
Regardless of whether the parties submit their dispute to arbitration because they want to, or because they were bound to do so by an arbitration clause, the role of the arbitrator is the same. The arbitrator will listen to evidence that each party presents, consider any contract terms and provisions, apply any applicable laws, and make a decision on an appropriate resolution of the disagreement. In a breach of contract case, for example, the arbitrator can interpret the terms of the contract, decide how they apply to each party’s rights and obligations, decide if a breach has occurred, and decide what remedy is appropriate.
Arbitration may be formal or informal, and the arbitrator may conduct the case just like a trial or may use a different procedure. In all cases, the role of the arbitrator is to make an impartial choice based on the applicable law and facts.
If your dispute is to be resolved in arbitration, you need a lawyer who has experience with this type of alternative dispute resolution. Call a San Diego arbitration lawyer at Sepahi Law Group, APC today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how an attorney can help you.