Arbitration is an alternative to litigation that allows parties to have more control over their case, but still leaves the ultimate decision to a neutral third party. The process is similar to a trial but with less procedural restrictions. If parties have an arbitration clause in a contract, or just wish to utilize arbitration to settle their dispute, they may contact SMU directly to schedule a date
How It Works
Program alumni, faculty, and current students who have completed at least 200 training hours as well as local dispute resolution professionals perform the arbitrations on a voluntary basis. There is a $100 administrative fee to reserve the date and cover the costs of scheduling. The arbitration itself will be conducted at no cost. An arbitrator will be assigned to the case after it is scheduled.
Arbitration ... Is Fair and Neutral
Although the Arbitrator will make the final decision as to the outcome of the case, the parties are able to determine for themselves what the rules and procedures will be regarding evidence, witnesses, etc. They can also define the guidelines under which the arbitrator will make that decision. The arbitrator will hear the arguments of both sides, perhaps ask questions, and will later render a decision in writing. Though the basic steps will be very similar to litigation, the parties ability to make decisions regarding the process allows them far more control over their own case than they would have in litigation.
Arbitration... Can save time and money
The parties to arbitration can schedule their hearing at a time and date convenient to them thereby avoiding costly delays that sometimes occur in litigation. This can result in real savings for participants in both time and money.
Arbitration ... Can be Binding
If parties agree, or if a contract requires it, the outcome of the arbitration can be binding on all parties. Although there are some circumstances in which parties may want to utilize arbitration without the decision being binding, in most cases it is beneficial and more cost effective, to have a binding decision.
Arbitration ... Is Confidential
In most circumstances, the Arbitrators decision in any particular case, as well as the information divulged during the proceeding, is confidential. This allows the parties to settle their dispute without the details being available to the public.
Arbitrations are typically scheduled weekdays starting at 9:00 am or 1:00 pm, although other times can be arranged if necessary. The SMU Conflict Resolution Center office is open Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. To schedule an arbitration, parties should read the
Rules of Process and submit the Arbitration Agreement form to the Center's Coordinator by mail, fax or email.
Contact InformationIf you would like to speak with someone regarding the process or to schedule arbitration, please call the Coordinator at 972-473-3486. You may also contact us by email at Resolution@smu.edu or by fax at 972-473-3425.
Private Practice Arbitrator Listing
Click on the link for a listing of our Arbitrators they are available as private practitioners and may be contracted with directly. They are graduates from our program and many of them volunteer at our center Arbitrator Listing