Arbitration Services in Bryan / College Station & Throughout Texas
What is arbitration?
Simply stated, arbitration is a way to efficiently resolve disputes—if done correctly. Technically, arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution and is an alternative to a trial. The procedure is straightforward: the parties to a dispute select a neutral third party (the arbitrator); the arbitrator conducts a hearing, where the Parties present evidence; and after the hearing, the arbitrator issues a decision (an award). Generally, the award is final; however, the parties can agree for the award to be either binding or non-binding. In non-binding arbitration, either side can reject the arbitrator’s award, and then the dispute would have to be resolved by traditional means. The arbitrator can issue and award ordering one party to pay another for damages or ordering no damages be paid. Further, arbitrators can issue specific non-monetary awards, such as deciding who owns certain property or property rights or defining specific contract terms.
Arbitrations typically occur when contracts between the parties provide that disputes will be resolved through arbitration. Arbitrators do not have to follow judicial constraints such as formal rules of evidence or procedure. Additionally, arbitration can be performed by one arbitrator or by a panel of several arbitrators (usually three). Some types of disputes are not suitable for arbitration, such as criminal law.
Advantages of Arbitration
PRIVACY - trials are public and court is generally open for observation. Business competitors can observe trial proceedings, as can the press, or just the curious. Conversely, arbitration is private usually subject to confidentiality agreements.
EFFICIENCY - arbitration can make the resolution of complex cases more efficient by truncated discovery and the presentation of evidence at the final hearing. Arbitration, if handled correctly, can result in speedier resolution of disputes and in a savings of fees and expenses for the parties.
ENFORCEABILITY of AWARDS - decisions issued at arbitration are binding and enforceable, if the parties agree. Further, the parties can agree that arbitration awards are not appealable and payable within a certain period of time.
How West Webb Can Help
Our attorneys can assist with arbitrations in three areas:
-Drafting arbitration agreements
-Representing clients in arbitration proceedings
-Serving as an arbitrator.
Arbitration agreements have become a common provision for many commercial agreements and contracts. We can make sure that these agreements to arbitrate are drafted to take advantage of the arbitration process.
As arbitration becomes more prevalent, our attorneys routinely represent clients in a variety of arbitration matters. We put the same dedication to representing our clients in arbitration as we do to representing our clients at the courthouse.
Finally, we have experience serving not only as counsel to parties in arbitration, but also as the arbitrator. Hundreds of disputes have been efficiently resolved by arbitration awards and decisions issued by a West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry arbitrator.
Please contact Terrance Dill for more information about arbitration.