What is Arbitration?

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If you have a serious business dispute, taking the matter to court isn’t the only option. In fact, heading to court is often expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable, and typically should be reserved for those instances when all else fails. As a result, many people consider arbitration as an alternative form of dispute resolution. This means that, instead of taking your business dispute in front of a judge or jury, an arbitrator would determine the outcome of your claim. If you have a business dispute that needs resolution, consult with an experienced Fargo commercial litigation attorney today.

Dispute Resolution Provision

Many business contracts include dispute-resolution provisions, which state that any disputes that arise will go to arbitration rather than to court. The language of the contract generally controls how disputes are handled, and the State of North Dakota strongly favors arbitration for business-dispute resolution. This means that, if your contract has an arbitration dispute clause, the court will likely order arbitration if your case comes before it initially.

Arbitration vs. Trial

You’ll prepare for arbitration much like you would for going to trial. Both you and the other party will likely exchange documents and records, much like the discovery stage of a trial. Further, you’ll both likely have the opportunity to depose potential witnesses and to hire expert witnesses in support of your claim, much like the evidentiary component of a trial. However, the arbitration process is generally structured to allow for discovery in a quicker and less expensive manner. The clearest difference is that you won’t have the opportunity to take your case before a jury. Instead, an arbitrator – chosen for his or her experience in the specific field at hand – will make the final determination in the resolution of your claim.

The Advantages of Arbitration

Arbitration has several distinct advantages:

  • Your arbitrator will have experience in your field. Taking your case before a jury means that 12 people who likely know very little about your business will determine the outcome of your dispute.
  • Arbitration can be much less expensive than going to court could be.
  • Arbitration can usually solve disputes more quickly than going to court.
  • While every element of a trial becomes part of the public record, arbitration keeps your dispute private, including any settlement amount. This privacy can be incredibly important for your business’s reputation and for your brand.

Arbitration is often preferable to court, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as serious a matter for you and your business. If you have a business dispute that needs resolution, you need an experienced Fargo commercial litigation attorney on your side.

If You Have a Business Dispute That Is Headed Toward Arbitration, Consult with an Experienced Fargo Commercial Litigation Lawyer Today

Arbitration is an extremely useful mechanism for resolving business disputes, and it is far too important to leave to chance. If you are may be heading to arbitration, you need professional legal counsel. The dedicated legal team at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo is here to help ensure that your dispute is resolved fairly and favorably. For more information, please email experienced commercial litigation attorney Sean Foss – or give us a call at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.

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