Much has been written in recent years about whether arbitration has lived up to its billing as a “better, faster, cheaper” alternative to litigation. No matter one’s views about this, litigation is undoubtedly very costly, and wise counsel must look for ways to reduce unnecessary costs and time delays. Unlike litigation, arbitration affords the parties much control over the process, including the selection of the arbitrator, arguably the most important decision in the process.
Also unlike litigation, if parties are unhappy with the decision of the arbitrator, there is very little recourse, because a fundamental tenet of arbitration is finality. Grounds for vacatur are limited, and unless the parties have selected an appellate arbitration remedy, the arbitrator’s decision will likely not be overturned. Therefore, selection of the arbitrator is a critical step.
Originally published on Law.com on June 28, 2014.
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