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When is Arbitration Better than Litigation?

March 26, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

You might have heard the term “ADR” used by members of the legal profession. ADR stands for “alternative dispute resolution,” and refers to using mediation or arbitration as an alternative to litigation.

Did you know that arbitration has been around for over 1,000 years? Merchants from different countries used arbitration as a way to settle disputes because they did not trust each other’s legal systems. Arbitration was a way for them to settle their disputes in with the help of a neutral third party. Today, arbitration still uses a neutral third party or panel to settle a dispute in the place of litigation.

Arbitration is a quicker and more efficient than a court battle. Florida mandates that arbitration hearings are informal, testimony kept to a minimum and that each side present their case through documents and their respective attorneys. The arbitration can come about through a contract that requires it in the event of a dispute. In addition, two parties can voluntarily agree to enter into arbitration even in the absence of a contractual obligation to do so.

Florida also has non-binding court ordered arbitration. Generally, the court will order parties to arbitrate if mediation failed. It is a good opportunity for the parties to see the merits of each side’s case.

It is important that you find an attorney experienced in arbitration. Do you need a dispute settled through arbitration?