Arbitration Guide

Advantages of Having an Arbitration Attorney


Because of overcrowding in the courts, some judges and lawyers recommend arbitration as a viable alternative to mediation or litigation.  If your case is fairly straightforward and the plaintiff and defendant are willing to talk things out, then any case can enter arbitration and be successful with it.  In arbitration hearings, there is a panel composed of one to three arbitrators instead of a judge, and they are chosen by both sides. 


Before listening to the arguments, the panel of arbitrators first reads the pleadings that were filed by the plaintiff and the defendant.  Both sides can submit their documents through their attorneys and give testimony.  Although arbitration is somewhat similar to similar trial, it is less formal.  Witnesses are not subject to perjury laws and related offenses in arbitration, and this is because here they do not have to swear an oath.


On average, arbitration cases are more expeditious than traditional trials.  if your case is delayed and appealed, your traditional trial can languish in court for years.  In arbitration cases, the average a case takes is a little over a year from the time of the initial claim until there is a decision passed by the panel.  The award issued by the panel is binding on all parties.


Plaintiffs benefit from the speed of the process.  The speed or arbitration results in smaller legal fees.  Company cases are not known by the public and this confidentiality is beneficial to a defendant.


The disadvantage is that the ruling or award of the panel is final.  Fees are charged according to the size of the award and the number of hearings required to reach the decisions.


The cases eligible for arbitration at are those that involve individual investors and a person or entity that is with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.  If the case involves businesses, then it can be used to settle disputes.  Many times that cases are a dispute between an individual and his investor or brokerage house.  And the reason why they choose arbitration is because most investment firms insist that their new clients settle any dispute they might have with them in arbitration, rather than in courts.  This clause is almost always present in contracts between investors and investors.  This process is not exactly less expensive for investment firms but they prefer it because it helps them avoid bad press.


It is quite possible to represent yourself in an arbitration hearing, so as with a regular trial, but it is not recommended.  The reason is because the other party will have an experienced attorney who knows the process on their side and you will have to contend against him.  So it is strongly recommended that you hire a securities arbitration attorney at before you file your case.