IS THERE A FLIGHT FROM ARBITRATION?
Are parties fleeing arbitration? “Ten to [twenty] years ago,” one commentator writes, “arbitration was the proverbial fair-haired kid. It was touted as being cheaper, faster, and less confrontational than litigation.” Today, the child seems to have grown into a troubled teenager. Reports of dissatisfaction with arbitration—not only by consumers and employees (and their advocates), but also by businesses and their attorneys—appear with increasing frequency. One recent article in the legal trade press asserts that “arbitration may be losing some of its luster. Some attorneys complain that its costs and complexity have been rising, while losing parties express dissatisfaction at the difficulty of appealing in court what they regard as unfair verdicts.” Another article states more confidently that “arbitration has fallen out of favor,” while a recent article by a pair of prominent legal academics suggests that there is a “flight from arbitration.” favor,”while a recent article by a pair of prominent legal academics suggests that there is a “flight from arbitration.”