Disputes are a common thing that we face in our daily lives and affect us differently. But then there are various ways disputing parties can employ to solve their conflict including court litigations, using an arbitrator, or seeking help from a mediator. Court litigation involves applying rules of law to determine an issue using the court systems of a particular country(Hg.org, 2016; Veasey, 2016). Arbitration, on the other hand, involves determining conflicts out of the court system whereby a neutral third party comes in to determine a dispute between two parties as per mutual agreement of the parties (Davidson, 2012). Whereas court litigation is a formal and long process in a courtroom that requires various legal procedures, arbitration is a private or an informal affair that can take place anywhere the two parties and the arbitrator deem fit (Hoffman, 2015).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Arbitration versus Court Litigations
Arbitration and Court Litigation are two distinct methods of solving disputes since they involve different approaches. As such, each of these processes has various advantages or disadvantages over the other. First, the speed of dispute resolution between these two processes reveals that arbitration is relatively quick while a civil litigation may take up to years before they are heard and determined by judges. Arbitration is quick because of its informality; once the parties to a conflict have selected the arbitrating third party, everything is set to go hence convenient and quick settlement of a conflict. What makes court litigation to have a drawback concerning speed of resolution is that one of the parties must launch the cause in the courts and then wait while the court gives the time for hearings (Contributors, 2010; Online Mediation Works, 2011).
The arbitration process is not costly when compared to court litigation because of the differences in fees and facilities required in both. Normally, arbitration cost depends solely on the fee that the arbitrator would charge. The arbitrator is likely to charge his or her fees depending on the characteristics of the dispute including; arbitration expertise, the size of the claim, and other arbitration process expenses. Sometimes, arbitration may require some technical information from attorneys hence some fee may be required to cater for that. On the other hand, the court systems require several procedures that may lead to huge expenditure. Court litigations are characterized by hefty attorney fees and other court costs that make the process relatively costly compared to arbitration(Kerley, Hames, & Sukys, 2009). Therefore, we can conclude that arbitration is cheaper than court litigation thus an advantage over the other.
Court litigation is officiated by a judge or a magistrate who is appointed by the judiciary heads or other relevant authorities meaning that conflicting parties involved in the case have no say in who is going to take that position of the judge. This means that the court process is subjective since disputing parties have to accept the judge appointed to them though they may want to have their case be heard by a jury rather than a single judge. However, arbitration process takes a different approach in selecting the arbitrator. The parties make a joint decision on the person who is going to take the capacity of pacifying them hence a privilege to have a say in the party to chair their conflict resolution. The differences in the ability to choose a judge or an arbitrator show that arbitration process has an advantage over court litigation(Kerley, Hames, & Sukys, 2009).
Attorneys are important people in both litigation cases arbitration cases. Whereas in arbitration the role of these lawyers is limited to how far the arbitrator allows for their representation, in the court cases the lawyers take a significant role in the proceedings. In court litigations, lawyers take plenty of time seeking pieces of evidence, presenting motions, preparing a defense for their cases hence a possible quality representation before the judge(Contributors, 2010). Thus court litigations have an advantage through unlimited lawyer representation that could win a case for a disputing party compared to arbitration where their role is limited. However, the huge involvement of attorneys requires use spending on legal fees that could make the litigation process expensive even than arbitration(Handbook on arbitration practice, 2010).
Use of evidence in arbitration and court process reveal that litigations have an advantage compared to arbitration method. This is because arbitrators may not allow the use of evidence materials while they take total charge of the arbitration process. The arbitrator could control if the evidence would be allowed and decide on what pieces of evidence can be presented and those that cannot be represented to enhance decision making. However, court systems require both conflicting parties to defend themselves by all means possible whereby presenting and disclosing all evidence is recommended. Evidence usage makes litigations process more advantageous as it allows for a full use of evidence(Kerley, Hames, & Sukys, 2009).
Finally, arbitration cases pose a serious disadvantage to conflict resolution concerning the availability of appeals. Normally, there are no appeals in arbitration proceedings unless it is a binding arbitration exercise that allows for an appeal clause to take force(Handbook on arbitration practice, 2010). However, an arbitration decision can be subjected to a review by a neutral judge who can decide to throw away the decision though there should be proof beyond doubt that the arbitrator was biased. When it comes to court cases, conflicting parties can have multiple appeal chances in various levels as provided by law(Contributors, 2010). Therefore, court litigation could be better when looked at in the context of availability of appeals compared to arbitration.
Contributors, M. (2010). Advantages of settling disputes by arbitration. [Place of publication not identified]: Gale Ecco, Print Editions.
Davidson, F. (2012). Arbitration. Edinburgh: W. Green/Thomson Reuters.
Handbook on arbitration practice. (2010). Huntington, N.Y.
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Hoffman, M. (2015). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Arbitration vs. Court Litigation – Tucker Arensberg, P.C.. Tucker Arensberg, P.C.. Retrieved 19 October 2016,
Kerley, P., Hames, J., & Sukys, P. (2009). Civil litigation. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Online Mediation Works,. (2011). The Pros and Cons of Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation. Online Mediation Works. Retrieved 19 October 2016,
Veasey, N. (2016). The Conundrum of the Arbitration vs. Litigation Decision | Business Law Section.Americanbar.org. Retrieved 19 October 2016,