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Why arbitration doesn’t deserve its negative reputation

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2021 | Mediation & Arbitration

Whether you have a contract dispute with another business or an issue with a real estate transaction, finding a way to solve your solution out of court can empower you and help you keep your costs lower. Determining the right approach to resolving a conflict isn’t easy.

Unfortunately, many people overlook arbitration as a viable option. They may not even consider it because this alternative dispute resolution process has an unfairly negative reputation. Why do so many people shy away from arbitration to solve their conflicts?

People associate arbitration with forced and binding employment terms

Powerful companies that want to limit the ability of individuals or employees to bring legal action against them often integrate a mandatory arbitration clause into their contracts. A customer or worker with a dispute has no choice but to go through arbitration to resolve their issue.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the company chooses the arbitrator used, limiting the actual neutrality of the process. Forced arbitration with a binding outcome is often unfair to those with fewer resources. That doesn’t mean that all arbitration leaves the average person at a disadvantage.

Arbitration can be a bit like going to court

Unlike mediation, which involves direct negotiation and compromise, arbitration is a lot more like litigation. Each party involved in a dispute presents their own evidence and perspective. A neutral arbitrator whose role is much like a judge’s then decides what would be a fair and appropriate resolution.

In a non-binding arbitration arrangement, the arbitrator’s suggestion may be the first step toward setting your own terms. You could make minor changes to their suggested solution and arrive at an outcome that is actually fair to everyone involved. Before you commit to litigation or mediation, it may be worth exploring whether arbitration might be a better solution for your dispute.