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How do I Choose the Best Arbitration Services?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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When you need professional assistance to deal with a legal dispute, it is important to choose the right arbitration service. While there are a number of these services available today, not all arbitration services are ideal for every situation. Before making a commitment, there are several key points you should consider, if you want the outcome to be respectful of the rights of all parties, and hopefully lead to a final decision that all parties can support.

It is important to understand that arbitration services often specialize in certain types of conflict management and mediation. Some are focused more on resolving legal issues that have to do with disputes between individuals, such as civil cases, custody issues, or preparation for dividing up resources as part of an impending divorce. Others focus on specific topics, such as real estate conflict resolution, or employment issues between employers and unions. Others are focused on providing services to mediate conflicts between businesses or even non-profit organizations.

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Making sure that any of the arbitration services you consider have experience and expertise with the type of situation you face is extremely important to your choice of an arbitrator. That background helps to ensure that the service is well-versed in any laws or statutes that may apply to the situation, as well as being aware of any precedents that may have some relevance to the type of dispute involved. This level of knowledge and skill can mean that the issue is resolved sooner, and thus will cost one or both parties significantly less in terms of not only payments for the service, but the time spent involved with the resolution attempt.

Obtaining and following up on references is just as important with arbitration services as with securing any other type of service and support. Spend time talking with former clients of the service, and ask pointed questions about how they felt their cases were handled. Find out how the mediators interacted with all parties, how thorough they were in investigating all relevant facts about the situation, and their general demeanor toward all parties during the actual process of arbitration. Since you will be working closely with the service you choose, make sure it is possible to establish a respectful working rapport that will remain throughout the proceedings.

As with many types of expenses, there is also the need to consider the fees charged by all the arbitration services you consider. While you want to make sure you are being charged a fair rate, at least in comparison to what similar services charge in your area, don’t allow the cost to be your main focus. Those fees will still be well below what you would pay in attorney fees and court costs if the issue had to go to trial. Pay more attention to the experience and quality of performance that the service has exhibited in the past, as well as their grasp of the factors relevant to your dispute. Taking this approach will increase your chances for an amicable settlement of the conflict, and allow both you and the opposing party to move on to other matters.

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