Saturday, February 1, 2014


There are so many aspects to the cost of any dispute resolution process.  One of the most significant is the fees charged by the attorneys and their staff on both sides of the case.  The fees charged by the arbitrator(s) are usually less, because their time is spent primarily on the hearings, and not on the extensive evidence gathering and client meetings performed by the attorneys.

In a courtroom litigation for example, the actual court costs can be a small percentage of the total costs.  Any attorney wishing to represent his client to the fullest will no doubt take advantage of every opportunity to confound his opponent by taking extensive depositions of every potential witness, preparing interrogatories, demanding copies of every possible document, relevant or not, and filing motions.  For obvious reasons, this aggressive effort is called a "fishing expedition."  Often it produces no more results than a true fishing expedition would.

All of this can run up the cost of the litigation to the point where it can make the principals wonder why they ever thought it was a good idea to pursue the case.

Enter arbitration.  While arbitrations are not cheap, they do avoid the kind of intensive investigation and evidence gathering that a litigation does, and so can have a much smaller bill for professional fees of all kinds.  When one considers the fact that arbitrations are not subject to appeal (except on the occurrence of various malfeasances on the part of the arbitrator(s), the time spent on the case is proportionally reduced, along with the cost.  

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