Reaching Legally Binding Decisions Without The Court System
Arbitration is an efficient and cost-effective dispute resolution process, designed to substitute for more formal trial proceedings conducted in the court of law. In an arbitration, the parties agree to have their case heard by an impartial person, the arbitrator, who issues a final and binding decision. Many formal contracts require that any dispute arising out of the contract be arbitrated. As a result, it is quite common today that participation in arbitration is agreed upon before a dispute even arises.
The hallmark of our practice is personal service. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their interests are properly protected. STEVEN IVY P.C. is counseling clients in several Illinois counties, including: Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Will County, McHenry County and Kendall County. Our clients can meet with us in eight Illinois locations, including: Chicago, Lisle, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Rosemont, Saint Charles, Schaumburg, and Warrenville.
Arbitration is very different from mediation. The mediation process is designed help the parties reach their own resolution, where the mediator does not make any decisions. In arbitration, the arbitrator reviews evidence, hears arguments, and makes a decision (award) to resolve the dispute. Each party has an opportunity to begin with an opening statement. After the opening statements, the party making the claim comes forth to present his/her case to the arbitrator. During the process, both parties will have an opportunity to present various types of evidence, including witness testimony. The process is concluded with both sides presenting their closing statements. Ultimately, in a matter of hours, an arbitrator often can hear a case that otherwise may take a week in court to try.
Different Types of Arbitrations
The arbitration process may be divided into two distinct categories: binding and non-binding. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator has the ultimate, and irreversible, decision-making power. This means that the arbitrator's decision (award) is final, without an opportunity of appeal. The non-binding arbitration is quite different, Here, if a party to a dispute is not satisfied with the decision of the arbitrator, they can file a request for a trial with the court of law. This process is quite complex, and must be completed within a specified period of time.
Benefits of Arbitration
The key benefit of the arbitration process is its ability to resolve conflicts without any involvement from the court system. This translates into several advantages, including much lower costs than litigation and timely resolution of the matter. In addition to avoiding court back-logs and providing swift case resolution, arbitration gives parties more control over the proceedings. A control which is not available during a typical litigation process. Finally, and perhaps the most important aspect of arbitration, is its privacy. The proceedings are conducted away from the watchful eye of the media (key benefit to most businesses), and the final ruling could remain confidential.
Arbitration in Illinois
Illinois has adopted a procedure establishing mandatory arbitration. The court uses mandatory arbitration for certain types of small civil cases in which the plaintiff is seeking money damages. To qualify, the established damages must not exceed $30,000 (in some jurisdictions $50,000), exclusive of interest and costs or as prescribed otherwise by rule. However, the amount of damage doesn't guarantee arbitration. In fact, the court may remove the arbitration requirement, if a reasonable excuse is presented and filed within 30 days of the arbitration hearing (Illinois Supreme Court Rule 93).
Comprehensive Arbitration Practice
STEVEN IVY P.C. specializes in the arbitration process, and provides a comprehensive set of arbitration services. The firm utilizes arbitration to resolve a wide range of issues, from real estate disputes to complex contractual disagreements. Our clients include individuals, small and medium-size businesses, not-for-profit organizations and corporations from various technological areas. If you, or your organization, needs help with an arbitration case, contact our office and schedule a confidential consultation. We are confident in our ability to help.