Ensuring Access to Legal Representation in Dispute Resolution

When it comes to resolving disputes, the high cost of the process is often attributed to the mentality established and nurtured by the adversarial system. This system requires that lawyers of the opposing parties present all evidence and legal arguments that could benefit their clients. Pre-trial discovery procedures and other litigation procedures are designed to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the search for pertinent evidence. Due to their training, temperament, professional duty, and often their client's expectations, lawyers tend to make the most of these procedures and persist as long as there is any hope. Every lawyer has an obligation to advocate as zealously as possible, even if it means sacrificing the truth and resolution of conflicts in a satisfactory manner for both parties. Pro se is a Latin term meaning “in one's own name”.

In the context of arbitration, it refers to a party that represents itself or a company represented by someone who is not a lawyer. Although parties are not required to have an attorney to participate in arbitration, it is a final and legally binding process that may affect their rights. Therefore, they should consider consulting an attorney. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) has developed numerous resources to educate pro se parties about the arbitration process, as well as provide them with easy access to commonly used AAA forms and rules. The judge rental program is another variant of arbitration in which the parties choose a retired judge to hear their case in the same way as an arbitrator would. In theory, arbitration rules are decided by the disputants, but most adopt the procedures recommended by the AAA.

Arbitration can be very fast if both lawyers agree, but they cannot fully control its speed since they have to work with an independent arbitrator and meet the administrative requirements of a sponsoring organization. The Taft-Hartley Act provides a separate legal framework for labor arbitration agreements, which are similar in law and practice to commercial arbitration. A court-supervised method such as SJT can reduce nervousness, as can the participation of a sponsoring arbitration organization and an authorized arbitrator. The decision to resort to arbitration is sometimes made after a conflict has arisen, but more often it is included in contracts so that parties agree to submit any disputes arising from their common business to arbitration. The parties choose either a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators (usually three) who listen to evidence and arguments from lawyers before making a legally binding decision.

Nicole Fratercangelo
Nicole Fratercangelo

Total beer aficionado. Avid pop culture fanatic. Unapologetic travel lover. Proud reader. Friendly internet practitioner.

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