Litigation is an expensive, time-consuming prospect for Pennsylvania businesses and investors. It can prevent a company from moving forward as it often requires the use of all available resources. Some organizations do not recover from the repercussions of a lawsuit brought against them, regardless of the outcome. Michael J. Betts LLC often serves as an arbitrator in contract and commercial cases and helps avoid the cost of going to court.

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, parties may resolve employment and securities disputes through arbitration or mediation, rather than litigation. Brokerage firms, investors and individual brokers often use these methods, rather than going to court. The governing guidelines often help resolve issues quickly and with less expense. Both options allow investors to recover damages without making the proceedings public.

Arbitration is an alternative to litigation. A neutral third party called an arbitrator reviews all materials presented in the case. Similar to a judge during a trial, he or she also listens to arguments and testimony. The decision rendered is final and legally binding. The process is cheaper, faster and less complicated than going to court. It is also private, whereas litigated cases presented are not.

Mediation is a more informal process than arbitration. An impartial mediator promotes negotiations between disagreeing parties. The individual is a subject matter expert. He or she is familiar with the materials presented and the industry in which the parties operate. The goal is finding a mutually beneficial or acceptable outcome.

This method of resolution is voluntary, and either party may stop at any time. Arbitration or litigation may follow. It is generally faster than arbitration. However, it is not binding until both parties reach agreement and sign settlement papers. If at any time, one or more disputing parties decide mediation is not working for them, they may move to arbitration or litigation.

Case duration for both arbitration and mediation are typically shorter than for a court case. This is in part due to the limited scope of the discovery process. In addition to a lower cost, parties can agree to specific ground rules and customize the process as needed.