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Comment on small claims court v arbitration   
October 30, 2020
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Comment on small claims court v arbitration from article on October 20, 2020
            Why would you go from small claims court to arbitration? Arbitration is expensive and you still end up with the same burned out lawyer making the decision.
            Well, you make a good point.  I suppose there are good and bad points for either forum.  
            Small claims court is probably available in all jurisdictions and the experience may be different depending on where you are located.  In the NYC metropolitan area it’s like a field day to the Bronx Zoo, only more dangerous and less civil.  Once there, probably more than once because cases routinely get adjourned after making you wait all day or night, you can hope for “substantial justice” after your rushed trial.  [sure there are exceptions]  Though you can appeal the decision, be mindful that appeals are costly and if you’re in Small Claims court it’s because your amount in dispute is small; too small to do an appeal.  Of course you might win; then collecting becomes the objective, often an elusive one.  Good news is that you can start a small claims action for a nominal amount and in most cases appear without an attorney.
            Arbitration is private dispute resolution.  You have to pay for the arbitrator, so he or she is more likely to be attentive and try.  Their skill varies as do their fees.  Some are quite adept at running up their fees and that can be expensive.  In these days of zoom and skype it’s probably possible to handle arbitration that way.  You get a final determination, though you have to go to court to get the arbitration award confirmed.  The confirmation process deals with the arbitration process and not with whether the decision is right or wrong.  So you will pay more by going to arbitration, the process should be more civilized and faster.  
            Presumably the outcome should be the same whether in arbitration or court.  You should have an attorney representing you, no matter how smart you think you are.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
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