Why Arbitration?

There are many benefits to arbitration, as compared to civil litigation in the court system.  Properly administered, an arbitration results in the accurate resolution of a dispute in a manner that is speedy, efficient, final, and confidential.     
Speed.  A civil lawsuit can take two years or more from filing through disposition at the trial court level.  The appeal that follows can take another year or more.  By contrast, according to a study of the American Arbitration Association that is no longer available online the median time to final award for moderate sized arbitration cases ($75,000 to $500,000) was 9.9 months from filing of the demand and just six months from the preliminary hearing.  A March 2017 study by a Los Angeles based economic research firm found that cases in federal courts took twelve months longer to get to trial (and nine months more to get through appeal) than it took for disputes in arbitration to get to final Award.        
Efficiency.  Civil lawsuits often become mired in excessive, inefficient, and expensive pre-trial discovery and motion practice:  voluminous and expensive productions of hard copy and electronic documents; numerous, lengthy depositions; motion practice over the sufficiency of discovery responses; and many additional motions, including summary judgment, in limine, Daubert motions, and occasionally motion practice over motion practice, such as motions to exceed page limit or to file a sur-reply, with every motion followed by at least a response and reply. By contrast, in arbitration there is little, if any, motion practice, and formal discovery is limited.  In many cases, formal discovery is limited to a quick exchange of a small number of documents.  When depositions are allowed, the arbitrator will usually limit the number and length of the depositions.            
Finality.  Arbitration agreements typically provide that an arbitration award is final and binding.  There is no appeal from a final arbitration award.  Arbitrators cannot second guess their rulings and can only modify an award for clerical or computational errors.  Under the Federal and Texas Arbitration Acts, recourse in the courts from an arbitration award is limited to extraordinary situations such as corruption, fraud, evident partiality, or a refusal to hear material evidence.  
Confidentiality.  Arbitration agreements may, and typically many do, provide that arbitration proceedings will be confidential.  Even absent such an agreement by the parties, the arbitrator and administering organization are usually required to maintain confidentiality.  For example, AAA Commercial Arbitration Rule R-25 provides:  “The arbitrator and the AAA shall maintain the privacy of the hearings unless the law provides to the contrary.”       
Accuracy.  Jurors almost always do their best to correctly decide a case.  But in many cases, jurors are not equipped, by education or professional experience, to decide particular issues accurately.  For example, a lay juror with a high school education (or less) and no professional experience may be ill-equipped to resolve a complex antitrust or patent infringement case correctly. By contrast, members of the AAA’s roster of neutrals for large complex cases are experts in resolving complex commercial disputes.  All AAA neutrals have at least fifteen years business or professional experience involving complex legal or business matters.  All AAA neutrals also possess demonstrated dispute resolution skills, command high respect in their relevant profession, and possess key traits of impartiality, objectivity, and independence.  The AAA strives to match neutrals, based on education and professional experience, to the needs of a particular case.  All of this means that your arbitration proceeding will be decided by one or more arbitrators who are uniquely suited to determine the most complex issues presented by your case.  
Adherence to High Ethical Standards.  All members of the AAA National Roster of Neutrals for Large, Complex Cases have agreed to abide by the AAA Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes.