The Atlanta, Georgia, business litigation lawyers at our firm find that most plaintiffs and defendants involved in Georgia business lawsuits turn exclusively to the state or federal courts to resolve their cases. In fact, most clients assume state and federal courts are their only option for resolving their disputes. However, there are excellent dispute resolution alternatives, which may have exhaustive benefits for our clients.
Arbitration can be an effective means of dispute resolution, especially for parties who desire a fast resolution on a complex issue. The Official Code of Georgia contains a section laying out the necessary procedures for arbitration in Georgia. This section is generally referred to as the Georgia Arbitration Code, and is located at O.C.G.A. §9-9-1, et seq.
Arbitration, though very similar to the court system, can provide parties involved in business disputes with some unique advantages. First, the parties dictate how they want the arbitration to proceed by designing their own timelines. Unlike the Georgia court system where it typically takes at least a year (or sometimes much longer) for a case to proceed to trial, the parties to an arbitration can schedule a final arbitration hearing within a few months after initiating the arbitration process. This is why many business contracts specify that arbitration is the required form of dispute resolution if a conflict arises. Another advantage to arbitration is that the parties can select an arbitrator who has specialized training or experience in a technical or specialized area of the law. This is in marked contrast to the court system where judges, though generally knowledgeable on the law, may not have any pertinent experience related to a complex business matter, such as construction, intellectual property, or employment. When parties use the court system, it is also important to note that they have no say in which judge is ultimately appointed to oversee their cases, while in arbitration, the parties typically collaborate in choosing a specific arbitrator.
Whether you may be involved in a Georgia business litigation case or are presently engaged in an ongoing business dispute, our Atlanta business lawyers would welcome the opportunity to evaluate your situation and advise you of your options.