Arbitration Lawyer in California Bay Area / San Francisco
The Arbitration Process
Arbitration is a private dispute resolution procedure that is less formal and usually quicker than court litigation. To arbitrate a dispute all parties involved must have agreed in writing, either prior to or after the dispute arose, to resolve such dispute by arbitration. To initiate the arbitration, the parties must file a demand for arbitration and, simultaneously or at a later time, submit a complaint which explains their grievances. The party filing the claim is called the claimant or plaintiff and the party defending the claim is called the respondent or defendant.
After arbitration is demanded the parties must select an arbitrator who is either a retired judge or an attorney experienced in the subject matter of the dispute. During the arbitration process, the arbitrator will be in the control of the hearing procedures and will make a final ruling on the case. If the parties specified an arbitration company that is to run the arbitration, such as JAMS, Alternative Dispute Resolution, or American Arbitration Association, the arbitration company will supply procedural rules, administrative staff, and will help the parties select a qualified arbitrator. If no arbitration company is chosen, the arbitrator can set his or her own procedural rule, or the parties can agree that the arbitrator much follow the rule of civil procedure, some modified version of those rules, or some other guidelines or parameters.
The arbitration process is private and confidential because it does not occur in courts and the arbitration hearings and documents submitted by either party are not available to the public. Like court litigation, arbitrator has a pleading, discovery, settlement, and trial process, but arbitrators tend to deemphasize the legal technicalities and often save time and money by focusing directly on the merits of the dispute. The parties have much more control over the time-lines and speed of the proceeding because the arbitrators work with the parties to make sure that everyone gets a fair opportunity to prosecute or defend their case.
Once the claim is submitted, and the opposing party has an opportunity to file a cross-claim, the parties exchange information during discovery, and engage in formal or informal discussions to settle the case. The arbitration culminates with a hearing where each side is allowed to introduce witnesses and documents in an effort to convince the arbitration that they should win the case. The party that has won an arbitration award can have the award confirmed by the court, and this confirmation produces a judgment that is treated and enforced like a regular court judgment.
Arbitration Lawyer in San Francisco
Arbitration has many benefits but also some drawbacks. It can lead to a quicker resolution of the dispute that litigation because the arbitrators work on fewer cases and typically devote more time to each case. The arbitration process is also more flexible because the parties have greater influence over the conduct of the arbitration. The parties can outline the process that would fit their individual needs when they draft the arbitration clause, or request that certain aspects of the arbitration be tailored to their needs. The arbitrator tends to more lenient than a courtroom judge but also better informed and focused on the case that a trial judge who has hundreds of cases before them. Arbitrations are much harder to appeal than regular court judgments which reduces the potential for expensive and time consuming appeals. The two biggest drawbacks of arbitration is that each party typically has to pay for the arbitrator’s time which can be quite expensive, and that the parties give up their right to a jury trial.
The Zurada Law Group is Here to Help
Here, at the Zurada Law Group, we have an extensive experience of representing individuals and businesses in the arbitration process. Based on our inquiry and valuation of your individual situation, we will work out a personalized solution that meets your needs, help you choose a suitable arbitrator, and get you the best outcome possible.
The lawyers at the Zurada Law Group represent clients throughout the San Francisco and California Bay Area. If you have any kind of questions or concerns regarding a claim filed against you or if you are interested in vindicating your rights by filing a claim, please give us a call at the number above or fill out our intake form. Our California arbitration lawyers would be honored to serve you, and your first consultation with us is always FREE. Please start by filling out the contact form above or just call our law office in San Francsco.