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Choosing Arbitration to Handle Your Company’s Legal Claims in Georgia

Arbitration can often prove very useful and more cost effective for handling legal claims than pursuing them through the state and federal courts. However, it’s wise to first confer with your Peachtree City business attorney to learn whether this is advisable (or even possible) in your current situation. Of course, there will always be some cases where it may actually be less expensive to handle a lawsuit in the proper court.                                                                                 

Many legal professionals view arbitration as the most effective means of ADR (alternative dispute resolution). In general, most parties will choose binding arbitration over non-binding since the latter can result in unhappy parties rejecting an arbitration panel’s decision and then still pursuing the matter through the courts.                                                                             

Keep in mind that in some cases, you may be bound to accept arbitration because it has been inserted into a contract that you’ve already executed. (This is one of the many reasons you should always carefully read every contract before signing it).

The Georgia Arbitration Code and the Federal Government Arbitration Act

At present, the state of Georgia’s Arbitration Code (GAC) is set forth in Title 9, Chapter 9 of its statutes (See O.C.G.A. Sections 9-9-1 through 9-9-18). In contrast, The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) governs [all] federal arbitration . . .”                                                        Our federal government has made it clear that “the FAA preempts state law and is broad in reach. As a result, even if a contract is executed in Georgia, if it involves interstate commerce the FAA will preempt the GAC.”                                                                                                                   

Upon reviewing the Georgia Arbitration Code, you’ll discover that it addresses such subtopics as:  the appointment of arbitrators (as well as their usual fees and expenses); subpoena powers; the best time and place for hearings; judgments entered upon the awards and other pivotal matters.

Flexible Aspects of Arbitration Favored by Many Litigants

Although arbitration must be conducted in a logical and predictable fashion, the parties can often choose to “relax” some of the procedural requirements often followed in many courts. This is often done to speed up the process without sacrificing the quality of the arbitration hearings. Also, the parties frequently have a certain degree of choice involved with who sits on their arbitration panel, that’s often dictated by some contracts.                                                        

Many people in the state of Georgia choose an arbitrator who is a retired judge with extensive experience in a particular field of law related to their case. A number of highly qualified arbitrators are affiliated with The Georgia Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. As this group’s website states, it provides visitors with a list of “neutrals [judges] for the benefit of both law firms and the public . . . [making it possible to] quickly search by preferred region, case expertise and to check members’ availability dates online, where published.”

To learn even more about how arbitration may help you with your current legal concerns, be sure to speak with your Peachtree City business attorney and visit the Georgia State University College of Law’s website which provides additional information on this topic.

 

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia