Alternative Dispute Resolution Law
Why Use Arbitration Instead Of Going To Court ("litigation")?
The American Bar Association estimates that as many as 100 million Americans are shut out of the legal system due to the high cost of justice. In a 1999 survey, the National Center for State Courts found that only 32% of Americans believed they could afford to bring a case in court, and only 20% believed court cases were decided in a timely manner. According to the National Center for State Courts, 87% of those surveyed thought attorneys’ fees added “a lot” to the cost of a legal suit. On the other hand, many commentators and courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have found that arbitration is much less costly than litigation. All of the available data show that consumers fare at least as well in arbitration as they do in the court system. This would suggest that there are no significant disadvantages to arbitration, in terms of outcomes. And researchers have found that individual parties receive more of what they ask for in arbitration than they do in court. Arbitration does not limit a party’s right to seek a specific solution, but simply shifts the venue for finding that solution from the court system to an arbitration forum. Arbitrators may grant any remedy or relief allowed by applicable law and available to them in court. Arbitration, with its lower fees and faster process, is an ideal avenue for providing justice to Americans who cannot easily access the court system due to cost and delays.