When it comes to consumer law, if you want to bring a lawsuit against a company, the company may suggest or attempt to compel you to enter into arbitration rather than litigation. In fact, many companies who have their customers sign any type of agreement (such as a Terms of Service agreement), will include an arbitration provision in that agreement.
Arbitration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that keeps the legal action out of court. Generally, both parties in a dispute will have the opportunity to present their evidence to a disinterested third party, known as the arbitrator, who will then make a binding decision to resolve the dispute.
In Part I of this blog we will detail some of the pros of entering into arbitration for a consumer law dispute. Be sure to check back for Part II where we will explain some of the drawbacks.
Pro #1 – Speed
Arbitration usually moves much more quickly than litigation since it avoids the red tape and procedural requirements of court. Arbitration usually results in a very efficient resolution to the problem, which could mean you receive a settlement for your grievance much sooner than you otherwise would have.
Pro #2 – Cost
Litigation is often costly. Arbitration is much more affordable, in large part due to the speed in which the disputes are usually resolved.
Pro #3 – Flexible hearings
Arbitration hearings do not have to be fit into crowded court schedules, which means you can schedule them around the important things in your life. Not everyone can miss work to pursue a lawsuit against a company. In court, there is little to no flexibility as to when you are required to show up.
Pro #4 – Privacy
Court proceedings are public record, which means the details of your case will be available to just about anyone. Arbitration, on the other hand, is private; you can pursue your case without concern that the public will learn sensitive details about it.
Pro #5 – Simplified procedure
As we previously mentioned, litigation in court entails significant red tape with regard to procedure. Arbitration is not bound by such rules and doesn’t require aspects of the evidentiary presentation that are often used in court as delay tactics or mind games. Arbitration procedure is straightforward and relatively simple.
Bell Law is your resource in metropolitan Kansas City for arbitration utilizing organizations such as JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc.) and AAA (American Arbitration Association). We are dedicated to making sure the arbitration process works in your favor and helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your consumer legal matter. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you with arbitration, and be sure to check out Part II of this blog where we detail some cons of the arbitration process.