Arbitration processes don't live up to promise

The promise held out by the arbitration industry is that it will be quicker, cheaper, and more private than litigation. Many litigators, however, have found that the system has not lived up to this promise. Arbitration processes more sophisticated than ever before, with discovery and pretrial conferences increasing in size and complexity. Pepper Hamilton partner Francis P. Devine III said that arbitration is becoming just as lengthy and expensive as trials, and that there is a lot of potential for abuse of the process. "Arbitration has become very complex and as burdensome as trials are in many cases because arbitrators are getting paid by the day or by the hour," Devine said, adding that they are often happy to allow attorneys to go on with arguments when judges would normally cut them off. Many lawyers are now advising clients to take disputes to court or to tailor very specific arbitration clauses into contracts to ensure that arbitration is used in an efficient way.

Arbitration processes don't live up to promise Fri, Sep 3, 2010