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How to Succeed in Arbitration

Arbitration is a cost-effective and faster way to resolve a dispute than full-blown litigation. Just because you would not be in court, though, does not mean that succeeding in arbitration is easy or a guarantee.

Here are four tips for succeeding in arbitration according to the business and contract lawyers at the Katz Law Group, who have four decades of representing clients in front of arbitrators in Massachusetts.

1. Control Your Arbitrators in the Contract

If you were the party to draft the contract that is being challenged or that you are enforcing in arbitration, then you had the opportunity to draft the contract's dispute resolution provision in a way that benefits you. Taking that opportunity can make a huge difference in the outcome.

While many small business owners feel that this is unfair, it is simply a good business practice that can insulate your company from liability.

2. Be Prepared

Preparation is key to succeeding in arbitration. While the rules of evidence and presentation are much more relaxed in arbitration than they are in court, that lack of formal structure ends up putting more work on the parties to provide it during the hearing. By keeping your argument focused on the point that you want to make, not meandering, and providing strong evidence in support of your case, you can keep the arbitrators' attention and walk them towards ruling in your favor.

3. Read the Room

The arbitrators themselves will offer some of the most important clues about what to say through their body language and any questions that they ask.

Some visual cues to pick up on are:

  • Signs of confusion, which can mean that you need to better summarize your point or explain the context surrounding it
  • Disagreement, such as head shaking or frowning, which likely mean that your point is not being well taken and you should pivot to another approach
  • Boredom, which can be an indication that you are straying too long on an issue or that you need to be more engaging in your presentation
  • Agreement, which is a sign that you should move on to your next point·

If an arbitrator asks a question, do not just answer it – treat it as an indication of what they are thinking and, if possible and necessary, turn your argument to persuade them on the point that they raised.

4. Show Your Math and Back It Up

Many arbitration claims hinge on the issue of damages, or how much is owed. By bringing the receipts and calculating your other losses in a reasonable fashion, you are not just more persuasive; you also build your credibility in the eyes of the arbitrators. This can substantially increase your odds of success.

The Business Lawyers at the Katz Law Group Handle Arbitration Across Massachusetts

If you or your business is being brought to arbitration or wants to enforce a breached contract through the arbitration process, you have the right to bring a lawyer and should really consider doing so. Even though it is not a court case, an arbitrator's ruling is binding and can be difficult to overturn.

Call the business lawyers at the Katz Law Group at (508) 480-8202 or contact them online.

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