What is the Criterion of Selecting an Arbitrator?
Arbitration has in the recent past become a preferred method of settling disputes based on the many advantages that the process has over the normal court process. For many people, they would rather have an arbitrator solve certain legal disputes such as contract disputes, commercial employment disputes, intellectual property disputes, complex civil litigation and bankruptcy issues. While you may have some knowledge of how arbitration works as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, choosing an arbitrator could be your next big challenge. When you choose to go the arbitration way, it is important to understand that there is little or no chance for recourse which means that once there is an arbitral award, the matter is considered as solved. In a nutshell, what this means is that choosing the right arbitrator should be your top priority. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Regardless of how knowledgeable you are on legal matters, there are certain aspects of hiring the right arbitration expert that will always come into play. This is where most people fail the test especially if you don’t know where to start during your search for an arbitrator. You don’t need to be too technical about the details about arbitration but focus on the factors that will guarantee you success from the entire process. When choosing an arbitrator, here are a few things you should look for.
Choose Someone with a Manageable Workload
Some disputes require a lot of effort and are at the same time lengthy. This means that when you are choosing an arbitration expert; choose someone who can dedicate enough time to the dispute. Whether it is a court appointed arbitrator or one appointed by the parties in the dispute, choosing someone whose schedule gives them time to address the issues raised in the case is critical. You often find that prominent arbitrators are highly-sought which means that these people have their hands full when it comes to their workload. In most cases, these arbitrators have months of prior booking making it hard for them to take up in new cases. In order to avoid scheduling conflicts, hire an arbitrator who can fast-track the process and have the dispute settled under the shortest time possible. This can only happen if the arbitrator has enough time to attend to the case. However, there is an unwritten rule when it comes to choosing an arbitration professional who is best suited for a case. A good rule of thumb is to choose someone who specializes in such cases as yours as opposed to hiring one who will resolve the dispute faster. This is the only guarantee you have that the case is being resolved by a professional arbitrator regardless of how long the process takes. It goes without saying that some disputes are complex in nature and require adequate time allocation before resolution.
Choose Someone with the Requisite Legal and Professional Experience
In an arbitration process, experience matters a lot. In the legal profession, hiring an attorney who specializes in a certain field of the profession in advantage on the basis that experience in that field of specialization gives the attorney an edge in the legal suit. Always try to go for an arbitrator who is very familiar with the type of dispute you are having. Even before you get there, always make sure that the person participating in the arbitration has the requisite legal background to handle the dispute. A well-seasoned attorney can act as an arbitrator but there are certain areas in the legal profession that will require someone with both educational and legal skills to arbitrate. For example, you need someone experienced in international arbitration to resolve disputes where one party is overseas. There are also certain disputes such as those involving intellectual property that require someone with knowledge on such disputes for the arbitration process to be executed successfully. Of course there are many other factors that you need to take into consideration when hiring an arbitrator. However, focus on the key areas that ensure that you nominate the best candidate for the job.