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Getting the most out of arbitration

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2022 | Mediation & Arbitration

Many Kentucky companies have an arbitration clause in their contracts. Arbitration clauses are a good idea, as they can help your company avoid litigation and save time and money when resolving disputes.

If or when there comes a time that arbitration is necessary, there are many things you can do to make your arbitration be more efficient and less costly.

Tailor your arbitration clause to your business

You may automatically put arbitration clauses into your contracts and consider them just more boilerplate language. However, it can help to have the language analyzed by a professional to make sure it works for you.

An arbitration clause contains rules on various topics such as selecting the arbitrator, confidentiality and venue. Review these rules and make sure they work for you, or they could end up costing you more time and money.

Select your arbitrator carefully

Arbitrator selection is very important. Carefully consider who is the best arbitrator for your particular dispute.

Research your potential arbitrators and learn about their different backgrounds and experiences. Most arbitrators did not start out as arbitrators but worked in various roles or industries before becoming arbitrators. Study their backgrounds and decide which one is best to hear your case.

How to handle discovery and motions

The arbitration process involves many of the same steps as traditional litigation, such as discovery and motions. However, unlike litigation, the formal rules of evidence do not apply.

Therefore, limit discovery to only what is reasonably necessary to resolve the dispute. Your arbitration clause can include this type of discovery-limiting language.

Additionally, file only necessary motions. Motions are typically filed to narrow the scope of evidence presented, but since the rules of evidence don’t apply at arbitration, these motions may only waste time.

The arbitration itself

Present your case clearly and efficiently to your arbitrator. Stay professional throughout the entire proceeding.

As with any dispute, remain open to settlement. You put your arbitration clause in your contract for a reason. Listen to the other side and be willing to compromise.

Keeping these things in mind can help you effectively resolve your disputes and maintain good professional relationships.