Savvy business owners know that litigation is a last resort. This is because litigation is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Litigation can also cost your business valuable business relationships. It is generally a good idea to try to solve disputes by means of alternative dispute resolution instead of litigation.
One very popular version of alternative dispute resolution is arbitration. According to FindLaw, you can choose to arbitrate almost any dispute provided that the other party agrees to the process.
What can I not arbitrate?
Provided that your dispute is civil in nature and not criminal, you can choose to arbitrate it rather than take it to court if the other party agrees to do so. However, the key phrase in that sentence is “if the other party agrees.” If the other party wishes to litigate rather than arbitrate, there is nothing you can do to affect that decision.
However, keep in mind that most business entities wish to avoid litigation. Arbitration agreements are everywhere, including in everyday consumer contracts where individuals agree to resolve potential legal problems using arbitration rather than litigation. For instance, many online shopping outlets contain fine-print disclaimers involving agreements to resolve disputes using arbitration.
Why should I arbitrate?
Arbitration and litigation are very similar in some aspects. The main difference is that the parties involved pick their arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. You do not have this level of control in a court of law. You can also customize the arbitration process as much as you want, whereas the courtroom must operate according to judicial standards. Arbitration is often quicker and cheaper due to this.