Litigating an Arbitration
Arbitration is a common clause in many construction contracts and is one manner of resolving a dispute without the direct intervention of the court system.
Some refer to it as alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).
The person deciding the case is an arbitrator instead of a judge. Once the arbitrator renders a decision, the ruling is binding on the parties. The arbitration award is subsequently filed with a court of competent jurisdiction to memorialize and properly record the arbitrator’s findings.
Many companies include an arbitration clause in their contracts because it often reduces the amount of legal fees expended.
The reason for the lessened expenses is a result of lessened formalities in the arbitration process (as compared to litigating in the court system).
Some of these formalities, or lack thereof, include lessened evidentiary standards, a shorter discovery phase, typically less motion work, and generally a more expedited process.
Trying a lawsuit in the Missouri court system can take years. The arbitration process was aimed at stripping down the number of obstacles that parties face when trying a case before a judge.
Which brings up the next point: another benefit of the arbitration process involves the individual who decides the case. Depending on the rules that govern the arbitration, the arbitrator is sometimes selected by the parties from a list (other times they will be chosen by the organization or association that governs the arbitration).
Sometimes the parties will have an opportunity to select their top 3-5 choices for an arbitrator and rank those persons. The organization will then select the arbitrator that ranked the highest on average.
In any case, whether you are seeking representation for a construction law dispute or defect litigation, our attorneys know the arbitration process and can advise you of your company’s rights.
If you need assistance litigating an arbitration, you can contact one of our construction attorneys here.