Construction Law

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The Pros And Cons Of Arbitration

Arbitration is a fairly common when it comes to resolving construction disputes. Is it right for your case? At Cotney Attorneys & Consultants we have years of experience handling arbitration cases and have compiled several pros and cons to consider before taking the arbitration route. It is highly recommended that you consult with your contractor attorney in Tampa before making a decision between arbitration and litigation.

Pros Of Arbitration

Unlike litigation, arbitration takes place outside of the courtroom. This can be beneficial for many reasons:

Typically cheaper: Even though with arbitration both parties need to hire an arbitrator (prices can vary from $3,000 to $4,000 per day for services) as well as their own Tampa contractor attorney to help them go through the process, it is still usually a lesser cost to go through the arbitration rocess.

Less Hostile: Disputes can put people in a very tough position. Add a trip to court and that can make for a hostile situation. Because the litigation process avoids a courtroom visit, that can help improve tension between both parties. In arbitration, parties are encouraged to air their grievances out loud and communicate with one another to resolve their dispute, and this can help them to work together peacefully.

Fast Resolve Time: According to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, the average time from filing to decision is about 475 days with arbitration. In litigation, because a case has to make the rounds through court, it can take between eighteen months to three years to conclude.

Flexible Hours: Arbitration cases generally don’t have to be limited to courtroom hours. Arbitration hearings have the option to be more flexible, and can be scheduled around the parties’ needs and availabilities, even including weekends and evenings.

Confidential: Arbitration hearings do not take place in an open court, and transcripts are not part of the public record.

Cons Of Arbitration

Final Is Final: In arbitration, a final decision is hard to get changed. Most arbitration decisions can be appealed. However, due to the language that the parties often agree to before entering arbitration, the decisions are usually considered final; barring some egregious unfairness in the arbitration process, and thus are unlikely to be reversed or even reviewed by a court.

No Jury: While for some, having no jury might be beneficial, others think the opposite. Having a jury of peers can be an important right. In arbitration, an arbitrator plays the roles of a judge and a jury.

Rising Costs: While the cost of arbitration is listed above as a pro, it’s also started to become a con as well. Arbitration can vary in complexity and can take many forms, and potentially cost more than litigation in some cases.

Fairness: There are some concerns about the fairness of companies favoring arbitration because they are more familiar with specific arbitrators as well as the process of arbitration in general.

To speak with a qualified construction attorney, contact us today to request a consultation.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.