Arbitration

Achieve expedient and economical finality through arbitration.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a more formal process than mediation but less formal than litigation.  It involves presenting evidence to a neutral, third-party decision-maker (the arbitrator), who then renders a written decision resolving the dispute.  While parties often choose arbitration because it results in a final and binding decision to end the dispute, they do have the option of engaging in either binding or non-binding arbitration.  Non-binding arbitration can be useful when parties want to gain insight regarding how a judge or jury might decide the case but still retain the autonomy to reach a negotiated settlement of their own accord.

What are the Benefits of Arbitration?

Sometimes it just makes more sense for each party to submit its position to an arbitrator who will make a final decision on the matter than to spend more time trying to reach a resolution themselves.  Arbitration provides a much faster and more economical end to conflict than litigation.  An arbitration can often be scheduled and a decision received in a matter of weeks as opposed to the years it takes to litigate a case.  While the arbitrator is in control of both the process and the ultimate outcome, arbitrations allow for more flexibility than litigation.  The parties and attorneys can agree in advance about what rules of evidence will or will not apply to the arbitration, parameters can be placed on the methods of presenting evidence, time allowed to do so, whether a hearing is desired, and other practical aspects.

Are there Different Types of Arbitration?

In addition to binding and non-binding arbitrations, there are different types of arbitration that can be employed and various rules that may be instituted to customize the process.  Pax Dispute Resolution Services prides itself on tailoring the arbitration process to the needs of the parties and attorneys.  Prior to the arbitration date, the arbitrator will hold a telephone conference with the parties and attorneys to set the parameters of the arbitration and expectations regarding the process.  With that in mind, some of the standard options available include:

Documents-Only Arbitration:

Documents-only arbitrations consist of the submission of evidence to the arbitrator without the need for a hearing.  Most commonly, evidence is limited to documents only; however, Pax allows for the submission of audio and video recordings, as well, if desired and agreed upon.  All evidence is received by a particular date and the arbitrator reviews the evidence and provides a decision to the parties.  The parties and attorneys can also agree upon the process to be instituted if the arbitrator has any questions regarding the evidence received.  Time and expense can be saved when a case can be decided on documents alone.  This method of arbitration is particularly well-suited when the most economical method of dispute resolution is desired and autonomy over the outcome is not essential. 

Arbitration Hearing:

As in documents-only arbitration, documents are submitted in advance to the arbitrator but a hearing is held during which each side has the opportunity to make an argument supporting the party’s particular claims or defenses.  Additional evidence (often in the form of testimony) can also be submitted during the hearing.  The arbitrator can ask questions of the parties during the hearing, as well.  After the hearing is completed, the arbitrator will render a written decision to resolve the dispute.

High-Low Arbitration:

High-low is a modification that can be used for documents-only or traditional arbitration hearings that confines the risk to each party to agreed-upon parameters.  Prior to the arbitration, the parties agree on a high and low “cap” for the arbitration award but do not typically share these numbers with the arbitrator.  The parties’ agreement sets the parameters of the ultimate outcome.  The arbitrator’s precise award is imposed if the arbitrator’s number is between the high and low caps.  If it is lower than the low cap, the previously agreed-upon low number will be binding.  Likewise, if it is higher than the high cap, the previously agreed-upon high number will be binding.  For example, if the parties agree to a high-low of $50,000/$250,000 and the arbitrator awards $150,000, the plaintiff receives $150,000.  If the arbitrator awards $30,000, the plaintiff receives $50,000.  If the arbitrator awards $300,000, the plaintiff receives $250,000. 

Final Offer or “Baseball” Arbitration:

Final offer, also known as “pendulum” or “baseball”, arbitration is another modification that can be used to narrow the possible arbitration outcomes.  In a final offer arbitration, the arbitrator’s award on each issue must be either the last offer or the last demand on that issue.  The arbitrator is constrained to choose the last position of one party or the other on each issue and does not have the authority to issue an award somewhere in the middle.

Pax is well-versed at meeting the needs of the parties and attorneys by employing various combinations of arbitration techniques to provide the best dispute resolution process for the particular case.

How does the Process Work?

If all parties agree to arbitrate, a date can be requested through the calendar link https://www.nadn.org/brandy-carestia , by calling (406) 304-4785, or by emailing info@paxdrs.com.  Please include the names of each party, names of attorneys involved, brief description of the type of case, whether it has been filed in court (including cause number if it has) and in what jurisdiction.  You will then receive a confirmation if the arbitrator has no conflict and the date requested is acceptable to all parties and the arbitrator.

Prior to the arbitration date, the arbitrator will clarify the process, confirm the parameters, and address expectations with the parties and/or their attorneys.  Typically, the parties each submit information to the arbitrator at least one week prior to the scheduled arbitration day in the form of a brief written statement outlining the facts and legal issues.  On the day set for arbitration, either a hearing is conducted or, for a documents-only arbitration, the arbitrator will begin preparing a decision. 

In-person or Online?

Pax Dispute Resolution Services offers both traditional in-person arbitration scheduling as well as online arbitration conferences. All aspects of dispute resolution can be completed online if desired, including document, audio, and video submission, messaging, and video conferencing. Pax’s philosophy is to provide the best service for the particular parties and attorneys involved.  In that vein, we can accommodate any combination of the use of technology or traditional means of transmitting information with either in-person or online arbitrations. Our job is to guide you on your path to peace, delivering the results you need in the way you want.