MEMBER ARTICLE: Preventing a Runaway Arbitration with a Well-Drafted Arbitration Clause

Author: Patricia C. O'Prey and Gilda R. Turitz

Summary:To keep legal costs under control in commercial disputes, corporations frequently rely upon binding arbitration as a reputedly faster and less expensive alternative to traditional litigation. Typically, two major factors impacting those potential cost savings are restrictions on pre-hearing discovery in arbitration and restrictions on challenges to arbitration awards in post-hearing proceedings. When enforced, these restrictions offer a significantly streamlined process, finality and a shorter time to ultimate resolution than may exist in the litigation process. Another desirable aspect of arbitration is the parties’ ability to select arbitrators with subject matter expertise relevant to the dispute, which is a quality that the decisionmakers in litigation—jury and/or judge—may not offer.

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About NAMWOLF: The National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), founded in 2001, is a nonprofit trade association comprised of minority and women-owned law firms and other interested parties throughout the United States. Many corporations and public entities interested in diversifying their outside law firm ranks have focused almost exclusively on the utilization of minority and female attorneys at majority firms. Yet the available data strongly suggests that these efforts have not resulted in greater diversity in the legal profession. It is NAMWOLF’s view that the most effective way for corporations to increase diversity in the legal profession is to increase their retention of minority and women-owned law firms.

www.namwolf.org

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