Arbitration is a means of alternative dispute resolution that can spare you the trouble of taking formal legal action. A professional arbitrator acts as an impartial third party, helping two opposing sides come to an agreement over their dispute. Many people prefer this to filing a lawsuit or going to court, because it is often a more efficient and less costly process.
How Arbitration Works
Arbitration starts when two disputing parties agree to use an impartial third party to settle their disagreement with a final and binding decision. This agreement is documented in a written contract. Then, an arbitrator—or, in some cases, a panel of arbitrators—is selected. Once this preparatory work is done, the process begins with a hearing.
Rules for the hearing are determined in advance and outlined in the arbitration contract. This is ideal because it can be customized and simplified according to the needs of the parties. The hearing is similar to a courtroom trial: Each side presents their evidence and arguments, witnesses may be called, and questions are asked. Based on this information, the arbitrator delivers a decision within a predetermined period. The whole process generally only takes a few months.
While the resulting ruling may allow for appeal, there are fewer and limited grounds for it as courts have less power to overturn an arbitrators’ decision. The parties also give up their right to a jury.
Is Arbitration Right for You?
If you’re considering legal action, consider arbitration first. It’s faster and simpler than going to court, and although you have to pay for an arbitrator’s services, the benefits beat typical litigation. It also allows you to keep your legal matters private, as the forum is not open to the public or press.
Looking for an arbitrator in Hawaii? Contact Lou Chang Mediation & Arbitration. Lou has been working in professional arbitration since 1978 and has been recognized for his work in the field of alternative dispute resolution on multiple occasions. Located in Honolulu, he serves all of the state, as well as Guam and areas of the western United States. Find out more about his practice areas, from real estate disputes to employment disagreements, online. For an appointment, call (808) 384-2468.