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Arbitration: Past, Precedents, and Future

By Scott G. Hawkins | Grasford W. Smith | Jacob Z. Coates
Part I in a 5-part series

Is it wise to pursue arbitration as a form of alternative dispute resolution?
This is an important consideration for both practitioners and clients. For many types of practitioners — from the transactional attorney considering including an arbitration clause in an agreement to the litigation attorney deciding whether to compel arbitration — it is important to have an understanding of the current policies and judicial perspectives, as well as the practical advantages and disadvantages arbitration may offer for clients. For years, arbitration has maintained the reputation of being a quicker, cheaper, and more flexible alternative to litigation, making it an attractive option for clients. Making an informed decision about whether to pursue arbitration requires practitioners and clients alike to be up-to-date on this continuously evolving method of dispute resolution. 

This article is intended to provide an introduction as well as explore the current trends in arbitration. Future installments will include discussions regarding 1) practical advantages and disadvantages of arbitration; 2) defenses to arbitration; 3) appealing an arbitral award; and 4) designing arbitration clauses for particular practice areas.

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