Arbitrate, don’t litigate!

Recently, I was lucky enough to “instruct” my director, Sarah Keenan, at a family law arbitration, arbitrated by the Honourable Peter Rose, a former Family Court judge. Arbitration is nothing new to the building and construction industry nor a new form of dispute resolution in family law. But it is not commonly practiced or endorsed as an alternative to litigation.

Simply put, arbitration is a process whereby parties argue a matter and evidence is put before a practitioner who is NOT a judge but who has the same decision making ability as a judge to resolve a dispute. The arbitrator must be specially trained and worth their weight.

What the parties in the matter I was involved in were able to achieve through the arbitration process instead of the usual court process, was control.

Firstly

They were able to choose who they wanted to convene the arbitration and be the decision maker. We didn’t leave it up to the luck of the draw which happens in the court process as you are just allocated to whichever judge is available to hear your matter.

Secondly

We controlled the amount of money spent or more rightly, not spent through the process; we didn’t draft affidavits, call witnesses or cross-examine anyone. There was an agreed statement of facts and any issues not agreed were pointed out and the law was argued. The parties were present during the arbitration which lasted around half a day. They had their case argued and weren’t forced into a compromise they didn’t want. They focused on the important stuff. The award (or judgement) was sent to the parties about 3 weeks after the arbitration.

If we compare that to a typical case in the family court system…

You could be waiting 3-6 months for judgment and Orders of the Court. That is on top of the 12-18 months you’ve already spent in the court system waiting for your matter to be heard. The contrast is startling.

The message is simple and needs to get across to more people, lawyers and parties, a like. Arbitration is a process that can save you money and time; you can obtain a resolution to your matter quicker than the court system can offer you.

What does that give you? A better life! A chance to live your best life without Court proceedings looming over your head; a clean and just break to your separation.

Ask us how Arbitration can work for you. Even better, ask us how we can Collaborate and Arbitrate.

Cristina Cocchiaro is a senior solicitor in our Melbourne Office.

By |2018-07-20T18:37:17+00:00July 18th, 2018|

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