Resolution Through Arbitration
Denton Arbitration Attorney
Isaacks Mediation & Arbitration Services offers confidential, impartial, and experienced arbitration for any parties in the North Texas area seeking resolution to a civil, business, or family dispute without litigation. With years of experience as an arbitrator and a District Judge for the state of Texas, Judge Isaacks is fully qualified and able to oversee arbitration proceedings in lieu of courtroom litigation whenever the need arises.
Judge Isaacks, as an expert arbitrator well-steeped in the law, helps clients save time and money while also avoiding the public scrutiny common to litigation proceedings. Unlike mediation, arbitration is a more formal process where Judge Isaacks reviews both sides’ evidence as an impartial and legally qualified third party and renders an arbitration decision in favor of one side or the other.
The Right Time for Arbitration
There are numerous disputes that may arise over civil, family, or business concerns where the best step to resolution is arbitration. One common call for arbitration comes from contracts commonly used between businesses & employees as well as between clients & service providers (e.g. insurance companies, improvement contractors, and loan providers) that contain arbitration clauses. Such clauses require parties to seek resolution of any disputes through arbitration instead of litigation. These clauses are typically included in order to protect the parties involved from the public exposure, increased costs, and other possible undesirable outcomes of a dispute going to court.
Additionally, there are times where two parties involved in a dispute have already sought mediation and were unable to reach a mutual agreement due to lack of goodwill or other obstacles. In such cases, the mediator may recommend parties seek arbitration as a means to prevent their dispute from entering full-blown litigation. Much like mediation, arbitration can be a confidential and cost-effective way to reach a resolution. Unlike mediation, however, arbitration requires the arbitrator to act much the same as a judge in a court of law and render a verdict in favor of one side or the other. With Judge Isaacks expertise, arbitration can successfully avert even seemingly unavoidable litigation when all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted.
The Different Types of Arbitration
Arbitration can proceed in two separate ways depending on the needs of the parties involved:
- Binding Arbitration: For parties seeking arbitration due to contractual obligation as discussed above, these clauses typically include a requirement that the decision of the arbitrator be legally binding. This means it is not open for legal review except under extreme circumstances involving criminal issues like fraud.
- Nonbinding Arbitration: On the other hand, many clients voluntarily seek arbitration. In such cases the parties involved are free to accept or reject the decision of the arbitrator. Typically, such arbitrations are held between parties in order to ascertain the likely outcome of the dispute should it proceed to a courtroom. Used in this fashion, arbitration is a valuable assessment tool to examine a case’s chances of standing up in a court of law. It should be noted that nonbinding decisions can become binding if agreed upon or in certain circumstances where they are not appealed through litigation within a certain amount of time.
How the Arbitration Process Works
Once the process begins, Judge Isaacks, as arbitrator, will oversee the proceedings in much the same way a judge does in a court of law. All parties should prepare accordingly and ensure the appropriate witnesses and documents needed to strengthen their case are present. As with a courtroom trial, both sides take turns presenting their evidence to the arbitrator who then renders a sound and impartial decision after hearing the evidence and considering the relevant legal issues.
Because arbitration is not only faster and more flexible than a courtroom trial, but also less expensive and able to remain confidential, it remains a valuable tool to any parties seeking to resolve a civil, family, or business dispute.
Facing Arbitration Due to an Arbitration Agreement
Often times buyers, sellers, and employers use arbitration agreements as a way to prevent a legal dispute from becoming a public matter. The agreements are usually included in larger contracts, like an employment or ownership contract. They are typically relatively simple, stipulating that any future disputes be resolved through arbitration. The more complex or sensitive the business contract or industry, the more likely it will be that an arbitration agreement will be included as part of the standard contract.
In the federal court system, and the state of Texas, such arbitration agreements have fallen under heavy scrutiny in recent years. This means that a court of law may actually refuse to enforce an arbitration agreement in they determine it contains provisions that the law considers unconscionable.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to discuss your case with an attorney you’ve secured for yourself before entering into the arbitration process. If your case has already been arbitrated, you may benefit from having it reviewed by someone like Judge Isaacks who is licensed to arbitrate and can ensure you are not taken advantage of by unconscionable provisions.
Achieving a Successful Arbitration
If you are involved in a dispute that contractually requires arbitration, or if you think arbitration might be the right approach to resolving your specific dispute, here are a few things to keep in mind in order to give you your best chance at a favorable decision:
- Be Prepared: When you come to an arbitration, bring everything you would to a real courtroom trial including all documents, witnesses, and anything else that helps improve your chances of winning the case.
- Know if your arbitration is binding or nonbinding: Understanding the scope of the arbitration decision is essential to knowing how to prepare for it.
- Hire an Attorney to Represent You in Contractually-required Arbitrations: If you are entering into an arbitration because of a contractual obligation, there are likely many complex issues you’ll need help with. Don’t be afraid to hire a reputable and qualified attorney to represent you during arbitration proceedings.
- Hire the right Arbitrator: Choosing your arbitrator is as important as choosing the attorney who will represent you. Make sure your arbitrator has a strong track record of successful ADR, including mediation and arbitration. Ensure they are impartial and reputable within the community of their peers. The more experience, the better. It’s in your best interest to hire someone like Judge Isaacks who has worked as a Judge and knows Texas arbitration law so thoroughly.
- Try Mediation First: No matter what, one of the parties is not going to like the decision rendered through arbitration. This ultimately means that the existing relationship between such parties cannot continue as it was before the dispute. Mediation, however, allows parties to put the focus on preserving the relationship and is therefore always worth thinking about before deciding arbitration is absolutely necessary.
If you have a need for experienced, confidential, and objective arbitrator, Isaacks Mediation & Arbitration Services is standing by. Contact our office.