Arbitration is a process where the disputing parties settle the issue outside the court with the help of an arbitrator. While this is common knowledge, not many people might be aware of what goes into picking an arbitrator and the laws that govern it, and so on. So, here we help you pick an arbitrator to settle your disputes.
Number of Arbitrators
Unlike a lawsuit, in arbitration, both the parties involved have a say and get to determine who resolves the dispute for them. Both the parties can come up with names for the people they wish to choose as arbitrators. Arbitration can have a one or three-member team.
In the case of a tribunal (three-member-arbitration committee), the arbitrators picked by both the parties will come together to pick the chairman. The number of arbitrators involved in the case is something for the disputing parties to resolve, and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 gives them this provision.
Qualification of an Arbitrator
While there are no governing rules on the qualification and the skill sets of an arbitrator, one can confidently say that the arbitrator has to be impartial and independent. However, it is important to note that the arbitrator should be an expert in the subject matter at dispute. If you pick an arbitrator who does not have the qualifications to carry on the process of arbitration, he or she can withdraw from the responsibility within 15 days from the date of appointment.
While picking an arbitrator, it would be advisable to go for someone who has legal and professional expertise. If you are interviewing the possible list of arbitrators, it is crucial to consider their experience in the subject matter. For instance, someone from a healthcare or life sciences background can resolve a dispute in the area of health care will be better over a person with an arts degree.
While most people prefer to go for an arbitrator with a legal background, it is always advisable to consider having a subject matter expert on board too. This will ensure justice is served!
Another common pitfall in picking an arbitrator is to go for the most popular one. However, this will mean that the arbitrator has numerous other cases pending and might not able to allocate ample time to your case. If an arbitrator who is at the helm of his career is working on your case, you might find it challenging to get his time and attention. The dispute hearing might happen several weeks or months after you approach the arbitrator. It can thus lead to a scheduling conflict. The major reason to choose arbitration over a court proceeding is to save time. So, it only makes sense to find someone who can make time for you.
So, pick an arbitrator that can take some time out for your case and listen to both the disputing parties. However, in some cases, even the busy arbitrators tend to reschedule your hearing in exceptional cases. So, evaluate your case needs and make the availability of the arbitrator a core deciding factor.
While there is no fixed skill set for an arbitrator, it would help to pick one who has strong management skills. The flexibility in the process of arbitration is the prime reason people choose this over court proceedings. So, having an arbitrator who understands this is important. An arbitrator with great people skills will ensure that both the parties feel heard. It will thus reduce any delays in the proceedings.
The ability to handle people from various cultures and understanding their legal systems is crucial. Besides this, handling tension and rifts are key to successful arbitration too. This is essential as there might be a fallout when the parties are discussing the issue.
Always pick by merit over emotions. It is crucial to have a neutral person who has a strong understanding of the case on board. One effective way to find the perfect arbitrator is by asking your peers for recommendations. You can also ask your lawyer for a recommendation of arbitrators. This will help you find professionals with expertise in the filed.
Finding the right arbitrator is essential in effectively resolving a dispute. That is why you should spend ample time in research and interview before making a decision.