Arbitration is a private, cost-effective, timely alternative to litigation. It is an effective way to resolve both domestic and international commercial disputes, including those involving technology or intellectual property.
While the popularity of this alternative is evident in the increasing number of contracts that have included arbitration in their dispute resolution sections, the challenge in many cases is to find an independent, experienced arbitrator with appropriate subject matter expertise.
Michael Erdle is a Chartered Arbitrator (Canada) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK). He has subject matter expertise in areas as diverse as technology licensing, franchising, outsourcing, venture financing and professional partnership disputes.
Selecting an experienced arbitrator who understands the legal and business issues and is sufficiently experienced to rein in costly procedural steps can be the difference between success and failure in an arbitration, regardless of the outcome of the case.
It has been said that there is no case that cannot be fully arbitrated in less than a year. But, a degree of cooperation is essential for effective arbitration. If the parties take a “no-holds” approach to arbitration, it can be just as expensive and take just as long as going to court. When there is cooperation, arbitration decisions can be reached quickly and fairly.
This mediation/arbitration hybrid can also be a cost-effective approach in many disputes. Michael Erdle has acted as mediator/arbitrator in two technology contract disputes, both of which were successfully resolved at the mediation phase. His experience with this hybrid model can assist parties in creating a process that meets their need for a timely, final resolution, while avoiding the potential risk of disclosures during the mediation phase compromising the fairness of the arbitration.
We offer expedited arbitration for disputes that require a speedy decision, as well as for matters where the amount in dispute does not justify spending a lot of time or money.
Time is money, especially in rapidly evolving fields of technology or intellectual property, or time-sensitive projects. Parties cannot afford to have large project teams sitting idle while disputes are resolved. Nor can they afford to delay decisions on disputes over ownership of technology and risk losing the opportunity to commercialize that technology.
If the parties are willing, we can hear and decide these cases in days or weeks, rather than months. Experience has shown that strict deadlines, limited document discovery, written witness statements and tightly focused hearings will produce fair and timely decisions. The arbitrator must take a firm hand to ensure that the arbitration proceeds on schedule and on budget.