How do I hire an arbitrator?

All that it takes to hire an arbitrator is for the parties to agree on a specific person or agency and contact them to determine if s/he is willing to take the case. If you have agreed to have the arbitration handled according to the rules of a particular association, the association may handle the process for you. For example, the American Arbitration Association has panels of arbitrators. It provides a list of arbitrators and sends it to the parties and they choose an acceptable arbitrator from that list. If this is a contractual dispute, first check your contract to see if the business specifies an arbitration organization. If not, you can either run a search online for arbitrators located in your state or call your local courthouse for a list of recommended arbitrators. The American Arbitration Association website is also always a safe choice.

Before scheduling the arbitration, you will need to contact the other party and inform them of your intent to arbitrate and give them the name of the organization or arbitrator you have selected. If the parties agree, then you can schedule the arbitration. If they disagree with your choice, then the burden falls on them to choose an arbitrator. If they fail to do so in a reasonable amount of time, typically 30 days, then you have the right to file in court instead, citing refusal of the opposing party to arbitrate the matter. When you file, the trial court will then typically select an arbitrator for the parties or require that one be chosen within 30 days. If the opposing party completely refuses to arbitrate, they may be opening themselves up to being charged attorney’s fees and court fees if they ultimately lose.

Just like a regular trial, arbitration is complex and should never be entered into alone. To ensure your rights are protected during arbitration, contact an attorney for assistance.