I advise clients to stick to arbitration for two reasons: The judge and jury may not have the expertise to understand the dispute, and litigation takes more time. A contractor once said to me, "You're always pushing arbitration. I listened to you and instead of suing, I went to arbitration. It cost me thousands of dollars and took months to get a decision. What kind of crummy advice was that?"

I admit it: In recent years arbitration has become more like a regular lawsuit and less like mediation. Today the process is quite complicated and includes many of the trappings of litigation — lawyers, expert witnesses, discovery, competing motions, and so forth.

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