Lawyer and two clients shaking hands at a table after a successful arbitration

At Ryan G. Cole Law PLLC, we help clients resolve business and commercial disputes through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, such as arbitration. From partnership and shareholder disputes to employment and insurance disputes, we help small and midsize businesses throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area find real-world solutions and avoid costly litigation. 

Lead attorney Ryan G. Cole is a seasoned business and commercial law attorney with comprehensive knowledge of arbitration procedures established by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service (JAMS), and other governing bodies. To achieve a successful outcome, you need an attorney skilled in resolving high-stakes business disputes. Contact our McKinney office today to consult with our experienced arbitration attorney. 

About Arbitration in North Texas

Arbitration is a form of ADR that is less expensive and time-consuming than litigation. There are two types of arbitration – binding and nonbinding. In binding arbitration, the parties must accept the arbitrator’s decision as final, whereas in nonbinding arbitration, either party can reject the arbitrator’s decision and pursue litigation

Arbitration typically arises when businesses and individuals enter contracts with mandatory arbitration clauses (either binding or nonbinding). 

How Does Arbitration Work?

In arbitration, the parties submit their case to a neutral, third-party arbitrator (or a panel of arbitrators) who will hear the case and make a final decision. Arbitrators are not judges but rather court-approved attorneys with experience in the relevant subject matter of the dispute.

Arbitration is similar to litigation in some respects but there are differences between the two. For example, the arbitrator hears arguments and considers evidence from both sides; however, the parties and the arbitrator determine the rules and scope of the proceeding. This streamlines the process and makes arbitration quicker and less expensive than a jury trial. 

Also, parties that pursue arbitration have more control over the scheduling. While it may take years for a trial to start, the parties can schedule an arbitration hearing once they are ready, often within months. 

Like a trial, arbitration involves a discovery phase, but the process is informal and limited. Similarly, the parties can rely on witness and expert testimony, and counsel may depose witnesses during the discovery phase; however, the use of witnesses is also limited.

In short, the arbitrator decides on procedures, hears arguments and evidence, and renders a final decision, known as an arbitration award. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision “binds” the parties unless there is a legal basis to challenge the decision in court (e.g. a mistake of law). In addition to being less costly and time-consuming than litigation, arbitration is private, unlike a trial which is a public proceeding.  

How Much Does Arbitration Cost?

Although arbitration is less expensive than a trial, the parties will incur costs that vary based on the amount in dispute. Such costs include:

  • Filing fees
  • Administrative fees
  • Arbitrator’s fees 
  • Attorney’s fees

Notably, the arbitrator’s fees will either be shared between the parties or covered by the party with more financial resources, for example, in an arbitration between a service provider and a consumer. 

Enforcing an Arbitration Award

An arbitration award does not have the immediate force of law like a court order. The prevailing party must petition the court to confirm the award. If the losing party does not comply, the prevailing party may need to take legal action to enforce its rights.

Mediation: Another Form of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation is another form of ADR that allows disputing parties to avoid going to trial. Mediation is an informal process that helps parties find workable solutions and preserve their business relationship. 

In this arrangement, the parties hire a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who identifies points of contention, helps the parties find common ground, and guides them to a settlement. The mediator does not offer legal advice to either side or make rulings. Instead, the parties must negotiate in good faith and reach a mutual agreement. 

Whether you are considering business arbitration or mediation, trust Ryan G. Cole Law, PLLC to guide you through the process and help you achieve your objectives. 

Contact Our Experienced Dallas-Fort Worth Business Arbitration Attorney

If your business is facing a dispute, arbitration is a cost-effective, confidential forum for resolving the matter. Let our experienced arbitration attorney help you expediently resolve your business dispute. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. 

Ryan G. Cole Law, PLLC advises small and midsize businesses on arbitration proceedings throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, and Tarrant County.