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Court isn’t the only answer when business disputes occur and the parties can’t not come to an agreement and it is often advisable to take the most efficient path to reaching an agreeable resolution for all. Often times business disputes are bound by contracts that compel a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) instead of court. In some cases, contracts may require a certain ADR over another, specifically mediation prior to arbitration. A requirement of the parties’ contract may necessitate arbitration pursuant to American Arbitration Association (AAA), AAA Employment Arbitration Rules, AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules, Commercial Arbitration Rules, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Rules, HKIAC Rules, JAMS Streamlined Rules, or JAMS Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a type of ADR where a neutral, impartial third party decides the final result in determining the resolution to the conflict. This isn’t too dissimilar than the process of following the court system, with the exception that the parties would appear before an arbitrator instead of a judge or panel of arbitrators who would function like a jury. Frequently, arbitrators are lawyers or judges with extensive experience in the area under discussion regarding the dispute. Testimony and evidence would habitually be necessary to build the case, or as required by the arbitrator directly. Once all facts and arguments have been presented by both parties, the arbitrator then takes time to review the case and issue an absolute and binding decision.

Since it is often the case that the current business conflict is negatively affecting either current or future revenue and other overall business objectives, arbitration could be the best option for a path to a prompt and cost-efficient solution. Another consideration when choosing to settle a business dispute through arbitration is that any settlements will remain confidential as arbitration is executed outside of the court system.

Arbitration cases in the United States of America are most often heard by JAMS, formerly known as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc or the American Arbitration Association (AAA). As arbitration differs substantially from litigation in court, it is crucial to engage attorneys well versed in the distinctive commercial arbitration rules that exist across both forums.

The Loftus and Eisenberg Chicago arbitration attorneys are very well versed with AAA, JAMS, along with other providers of alternative dispute resolution and have successfully arbitrated hundreds of disputes. Dissimilar to the standard court proceeding process, when resolving disputes through arbitration, both parties have the ability to choose the arbitrator who will be hearing the case. Due to that it is of the essence to cherry-pick the most suitable arbitrator, as they have extensive decision-making power and discretion, In addition, there is no appeal process in arbitration so there is no chance that the decision will be reversed on appeal. The Chicago arbitration lawyers of Loftus and Eisenberg have both vast experience and a significant network, both essential in determining which arbitrator is most optimal to hear each case, determined by the specifics of the dispute, the arbitrator’s knowledge on the subject and even down to individual personalities.

Mediation

Another form of conflict resolution is mediation. Though this is not as common a practice in business disputes, some employment and construction agreements may necessitate that the parties mediate prior to commencing any legal action. Parties are also allowed to voluntarily put forward their dispute to a mediator in hopes of a quick and easy resolution, though it is not commonplace in complex business disputes.

Like arbitration, mediation is also executed by a neutral and impartial individual, although with mediation, the process is less formal and the mediator communicates privately with each of the parties either separately or together. Throughout this process, both parties usually have dedicated time to make their case with the mediator guiding the conversation, ensuring the exchanges remain on topic and productive. After both parties have made their cases, the mediator will without bias aid the parties into coming to a willing resolution to their dispute.

Mediation is usually the most inexpensive and quickest way to get to a resolution of all the ADR processes, although both parties’ willingness is a significant factor, especially as mediation is less regulated and more open ended. Similar to the arbitration process, mediation occurs outside the court system, consequently the results are not public record and remain confidential. If upholding either the employment or business relationship is of consequence, mediation is also a potentially suitable choice.

As in all our cases, our approach to conflict resolution is based on the specifics of the dispute and the best course to achieving an amicable resolution. Our methodology in dealing with these sensitive disputes is determined based on the specific facts of the dispute and our clients’ goal.

Arbitration Experience

The law partners of Loftus and Eisenberg have jointly appeared in over one thousand arbitrations across all facets of ADR including AAA Commercial Arbitration in addition to JAMS Consumer Arbitration, Consumer Rules, Consumer Arbitration, Employment Arbitration, and International Arbitration. Managing Partner, David Eisenberg is a certified AAA Arbitrator and Gail Eisenberg, Head of our Employment Practice, has successfully represented innumerable employees in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as private mediation proceedings. Gail was recently featured as a guest on WBEZ’s Reset being interviewed about the passage of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act. Congress passes a #MeToo milestone with bipartisan support | WBEZ Chicago. This law simply stated would prohibit employers from enforcing some arbitration provisions and is an important piece of arbitration legislation.

Alexander Loftus, the firm’s Founding Partner is very well-versed in complex arbitrations in both AAA and JAMS and had a recent significant win with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center also known as the HKIAC.

If you find yourself faced with a business dispute, the arbitration lawyers of Loftus and Eisenberg can help represent your business interests. Contact us to discuss opportunities for legal representation through our unique fee schedules of either a customized flat-fee or full or partial contingent-fee basis, knowing you are getting the most aggressive legal representation possible, knowing that we win, when you win.

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