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American Arbitration: Track Record

Friday, April, 15, 2011

American arbitration statistics present a clear picture as to why arbitration is often highly preferable for attempting to resolve disputes in a court of law.  In one of the most comprehensive studies of patterns in arbitration ever completed, the Searle Civil Justice Institute Task Force on Consumer Arbitration collected information about 301 arbitration cases that were concluded during the last half of 2007.  The task force's findings demonstrate the benefits that arbitration provides parties to a dispute.

American Arbitration in Detail


A major finding of the study was that arbitration fees were much lower than legal fees for comparable types of cases.  For claims with less than $10,000 of value, the average fee paid by a consumer for arbitration was slightly under $100.  For claims with values between $10,000 and $75,000, fees averaged slightly over $200.  This is much less than legal fees would average in similar cases.

Arbitration was also noted as having few delays.  Parties who filed an arbitration claim had a settlement decision within seven months, on average.  The same cases conducted through courts of law could easily take several years.  The average award in consumer arbitration cases considered by the task force was just over $19,000, with consumers being awarded some level of relief in more than 53 percent of the cases.

The task force also conducted a study of the fairness levels present in typical arbitration proceedings, and found that due process procedures are in effect in arbitration just as in courts of law, whether in civil arbitration or other areas.