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Litigation versus arbitration: a look at one topical area

At the Dayton business and commercial law firm of Gottschlich & Portune, our deep legal team collectively commands well more than a century of on-point experience representing diverse clients in complex litigation matters.

And, in doing so, our advocacy is truly broad-based, with our attorneys seeking best-case outcomes in matters ranging from construction, real estate, fraud-related concerns and employment law to disputes grounded in probate, collections, securities and myriad other concerns.

Like insurance claims, which is yet another firm focus, where we bring experience and practiced acumen to bear on behalf of parties bringing claims and defending against them, respectively.

Insurance litigation often entails quite complex subject matter and concerns, which can give rise to this question: In a complex insurance dispute, does it better avail litigants (on both sides) to pursue a resolution through arbitration or pursuant to formal litigation and a ruling issued by a judge?

Although that might almost seem like a loaded and unanswerable question, the authors of a recent legal article insist that the preferred resolution track is actually quite clear in most cases.

And that is this: hands down, litigation.

When things are complex, the writers say, the courtroom route is usually more cost efficient for litigants. As complexity ratchets up, arbitration panels impose added -- and often significant -- costs to resolve interlocutory issues. Courts, conversely, do not.

Court rulings, moreover, are often far clearer and less compromised than arbitrated outcomes, the authors say, given the frequently seen propensity of arbitrators to take pains in avoiding zero-sum outcomes. The writers point to "the inherent interest of an arbitration panel compromising a claim."

And they further contend that challenging an undesired outcome can be more purposefully and efficiently undertaken when a ruling is authored by a judge rather than by a panel, given that courts uniformly provide findings of fact and state their rationale and conclusions in written opinions. That is not routinely the case in arbitration.

The authors' piece is certainly food for thought, with the reasoning advanced being something that might be reasonably considered by a would-be litigant in a complex insurance dispute.

And an experienced litigation attorney can of course provide relevant information on the litigation-versus-arbitration question as it pertains to a given matter.

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