Benefits of Private Arbitration

Compared with courthouse litigation, private arbitration has the following advantages:

  • Safety: An experienced attorney-arbitrator with expertise in the subject area of the dispute is better able to correctly decide factual and legal issues than is a jury or an inexperienced trial judge struggling in an unfamiliar area. Extreme results are rare.

  • Speed: An arbitration hearing usually occurs several months sooner than a court trial would occur (especially with the additional trial delays caused by Oregon's budget problems).

  • Economy: The informality and streamlined procedures of arbitration result in significantly reduced attorney's fees and other costs (including reduced discovery).

  • Efficiency: Arbitration eliminates elaborate pleadings, motion practice, case status appearances, daily call, and other paper-generating and attorney appearance requirements imposed by trial court rules and procedures.

  • Convenient Hearing Dates: Because arbitration hearings are scheduled according to the availability of their attorneys and the parties, the hearing dates are convenient and conflict-free.

  • Certainty of Hearing Dates: Because an arbitration hearing date has been set with the consent of all concerned, the hearing almost always takes place as scheduled.

  • Privacy: Most laypersons are generally frightened of a courtroom and prefer the privacy and informal setting of arbitration.

  • Finality: The challenges that can be made in court to an arbitrator's award are limited by statute and difficult to prove: corruption, fraud, partiality, arbitrator misconduct, etc. (ORS 36.705; 9 USC 10). An award cannot be challenged for an error in law or because of an unreasonable fact-finding. (See Arbitration and Mediation 8.23 (Oregon CLE 1996).) Although this practical finality is admittedly a two-edged sword, most commentators agree that the finality of an arbitration award is one of the benefits of arbitration.


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