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Arbitration in Business Disputes: Avoid These Five Mistakes

One of the alternative methods of resolving business disputes is arbitration. Arbitration takes place out of court. In arbitration, disputing parties present their cases, and then the arbitrator makes a decision after considering both sides of the story. Often, the arbitrator’s decision is final and binding.

If you have decided to arbitrate your business dispute, it is crucial that you know what you should and should not do. When arbitrating, there are several mistakes you need to avoid that could affect the outcome of your case. As business lawyers, we have seen people make many mistakes when arbitrating. The following are some of the most common arbitration mistakes you should avoid.

Mistake #1: Failing to Seek Legal Advice

The first mistake many make when arbitrating business disputes is failing to seek legal advice. Even if you will not hire an attorney, it is advisable that you at least consult with one. An attorney can help you understand your rights, what to expect, and how to conduct yourself during the arbitration process. A skilled lawyer can also help you understand the potential consequences of entering into an arbitration agreement.

While the law does not require you to have an attorney during the arbitration process, it is in your best interest to have one. Remember, as much as arbitration takes place out of court, it is still an adversarial process.

Mistake #2: Not Paying Attention to the Selection of the Arbitrator

Choosing the right arbitrator is one of the most crucial steps of the arbitration process. You should not leave the work of selecting the arbitrator to the other party. Take part in the selection process to ensure you choose an experienced arbitrator who is unbiased. Before selecting an arbitrator, gather as much information about them as possible. Attorneys who have appeared before the arbitrator can help you learn more about them.

Mistake #3: Underestimating Witnesses

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when preparing to arbitrate a business dispute is to downplay the importance of certain witnesses. For example, do not underestimate the potential contribution of a witness based on the witness’s job title or educational level. A person’s academic level or job title does not make their testimony more or less credible.

Mistake #4: Failing to Prepare Your Witnesses and Yourself

It is crucial that before the arbitration process begins, you and your attorney take time to prepare your witnesses. Also, prepare yourself beforehand if you will testify. Practice answering questions beforehand with the help of your attorney and have your witnesses do the same. It is vital that you and your witnesses understand what to do and what not to do during the arbitration process. While arbitration is not a formal trial, it is still a formal hearing, and therefore, it is important that everyone acts accordingly.

Mistake #5: Failing to Prepare Evidence

Another common mistake to avoid is failing to prepare documents and other evidence before the arbitration process. Evidence is crucial in proving your case in arbitration.

Contact a Skilled San Jose Business Attorney

Resolving business disputes requires the assistance of a skilled business attorney. Contact our qualified Silicon Valley business attorneys at SAC Attorneys LLP to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

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