Wooden Block Representing Agreement Between Two Businessman

Do I Need a Lawyer For a Business Arbitration? 

David H. Schwartz, INC  Aug. 4, 2023

Arbitration is an effective dispute resolution method that provides businesses with an alternative to costly, time-consuming, and disruptive litigation. These days, many business contracts include an arbitration clause, which basically means that the parties agree to arbitration should disputes arise. Even if there is no such clause, parties can voluntarily agree to resolve their disputes through arbitration.  

While you may be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration, you might be wondering, “Do I need a lawyer for a business arbitration?” While hiring a lawyer is optional, having legal counsel can benefit you and your business in many ways. The business litigation attorney at the Law Offices of David H. Schwartz, INC provides seasoned legal advice and effective representation to businesses in San Francisco, California, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as Santa Clara, Oakland, San Jose, San Mateo, and Alameda County.  

Overview of Business Arbitration 

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, arbitration refers to a procedure in which parties agree to submit a dispute to an arbitrator or multiple arbitrators to make a binding and impartial decision on the dispute.  

Arbitrations can be either binding or non-binding: 

  1. Binding arbitration means that when the arbitrator makes a decision on the dispute, the parties must accept the decision as final; and 

  1. In non-binding arbitration, the arbitrator still makes a decision on the outcome of the dispute, but the parties can reject the arbitrator’s decision.  

Unlike litigation, arbitration does not involve the formal discovery process. Instead, the arbitrator asks the parties to submit all relevant documents. Compared to litigation, arbitration is usually less expensive, more flexible, faster, and allows the parties to enjoy more privacy.  

Reasons to Work With a Lawyer During Arbitration

Working with a lawyer during arbitration can help you in many ways, including: 

  • Deciding whether arbitration is the best method to resolve the dispute. Unless you signed a contract that bounds you and the other party to arbitrate disputes, it may be up to you to decide whether to choose arbitration as a method for resolving the dispute. From a financial perspective, it may seem that arbitration is always better than litigation. However, if you add up all the fees (filing, administrative, and arbitrators’ fees), arbitration may no longer be the most cost-efficient option. A lawyer can help you determine whether arbitration would be the most effective and cost-efficient way to resolve the dispute.  

  • Guiding you through the arbitration process. A lawyer with experience in helping people resolve disputes through arbitration will provide invaluable and knowledgeable guidance throughout the entire process from start to finish. This can help you avoid mistakes during the process and ensure that the dispute is resolved in the most favorable manner possible. Your lawyer will assist you with filing requests, answering requests, gathering evidence, preparing written submissions, analyzing the other party’s submissions, and analyzing the arbitration award, among other things.  

  • Performing cross-examination. During the arbitration process, parties can use witness/expert testimony to prove their arguments. Having a lawyer on your side at this stage is crucial in order to perform a cross-examination of the opposing party’s witnesses and experts.  

  • Presenting your arguments. Your lawyer can not only cross-examine the opposing party’s witnesses and experts but also find relevant witnesses and experts in order to present your arguments in the most convincing manner. Once relevant witnesses are identified, the lawyer will help them prepare their statements and also prepare for possible cross-examination from the opposing party’s legal counsel.  

The business litigation attorney at the Law Offices of David H. Schwartz, INC offers comprehensive and tailored representation to clients facing disputes that require arbitration or other methods of dispute resolution.  

Serving You With Diligent Care 

If you are dealing with a business dispute that needs to be arbitrated, reach out to the Law Offices of David H. Schwartz, INC. The founder of the law firm has more than 45 years of experience serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. The business litigation attorney represents businesses in arbitration proceedings to help them resolve their disputes. Reach out to the Law Offices of David H. Schwartz, INC to request a consultation.