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Benefits of Private Arbitration vs. Court Litigation

Nov. 26, 2018

Arbitration of disputes through arbitration instead of court involves several significant benefits and advantages:

  • Insurance against “outlier” results: Jurors often have little or no experience in a given area, and the chances that all or even most jurors will have applicable experience is slim to none. Judges are often appointed or elected based on their experience in criminal law and often have little experience with civil matters, business disputes, etc. An experienced attorney-arbitrator with expertise in the subject area of the dispute is better able to correctly decide factual and legal issues than a jury or an inexperienced trial judge struggling in an unfamiliar area. Selecting an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators with applicable experience will help insure against extreme results based on emotion or other tangential evidence.

  • Speed: Civil matters in central Oregon typically take 12 to 18 months to get to trial and are often “bumped” at the last minute due to higher priority matters involving in-custody criminal defendants or child welfare issues. With state budgets getting cut, time-to-trial has been increasing, and civil matters get lowest trial-setting priority. An arbitration hearing can be held within months. With a quick, fair resolution, individuals and businesses can get back to more profitable and enjoyable endeavors.

  • Economy: The experience of civil arbitrators, tailored procedures of arbitration, and lack of last minute bumps to higher priority cases result in significantly reduced attorney's fees and other costs. The ability to return more quickly to regular business lowers the lost opportunity costs associated with time-consuming court litigation.

  • Tailored Hearing Dates and Locations: Trial courts are burdened with the scheduling of all types of matters, including criminal arraignments, custody hearings, and other docket-clogging matters, with civil matters taking low priority. Private arbitrations are restricted to civil matters, and hearing dates and locations can be set based on the convenience and wishes of the attorneys and parties, without risk of getting “bumped” due to a higher priority criminal matter.

  • Certainty of Hearing Dates: Because an arbitration hearing date has been set with the consent of all concerned, and without the risk of getting “bumped” due to higher priority matters, private arbitration hearings almost always take place and where scheduled.

  • Privacy: Anyone and everyone, including neighbors and newspaper reporters, can walk into a court room. Arbitrations take place in the privacy of a conference room, allowing businesses to safeguard sensitive or valuable information and individuals to avoid public dissemination of potentially embarrassing or private information.

  • Finality: Arbitration awards are entered as court judgments and become as final and binding as a judgment entered after a court trial. The expedience and finality of a judgment following private arbitration allows the parties to resolve their dispute and move on to more productive endeavors.