Arbitration: A Risky Method for Resolving Disputes

by Edward A. Hannan, Godfrey, Trump & Hayes, Milwaukee, WI, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Forensic Engineering: Learning from Failures


Arbitration has been widely praised as a speedy, 'inexpensive' alternative to litigation for resolving a wide range of disputes, including disputes arising from construction failures. However, the quid-pro-quo for reducing litigation costs is a waiver of substantial safeguards available to litigants in civil actions. The waiver of procedural safeguards must be taken into account when assessing the 'costs' of arbitration. The true 'cost' of arbitration may be imposition of an unjust award which cannot be remedied thereafter. Further the 'direct costs' of an arbitration proceeding may exceed costs of litigation.

Subject Headings: Arbitration | Safety | Failure analysis | Risk management | Awards and prizes | Engineering profession | Construction industry | Contracts | Indiana | United States

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