Your Case. Our Cause.

Chicago Arbitration Attorneys

At Leonard Trial Lawyers, we have decades of experience in civil, criminal, corporate and commercial litigation – having successfully litigated hundreds of cases in Illinois and nationwide. Nonetheless, a considerable and increasing number of cases end through negotiated settlements, mediation or arbitration rather than trial verdicts. In fact, it is now common in both the employment and commercial contract arenas for parties to agree that all disputes must be arbitrated. We are well-versed in these alternative dispute resolution methods and are able to help you navigate each avenue.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is an out-of-court dispute resolution method that affords parties a more streamlined and confidential resolution process to resolve their legal issues than traditional litigation. The arbitration process operates in a similar manner to a civil court but with less formal rules of evidence.

In addition, the discovery process is typically far more limited in arbitration than in civil litigation. This means that written discovery is quite streamlined, and depositions – if allowed at all – are typically limited to a small number. Moreover, dispositive motions, such as motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, are rarely granted. For all of those reasons, the hearing, which is the equivalent of a civil trial in litigation, can be reasonably expected to take place within six months to a year or more. That is lightning speed compared to a typical civil litigation matter, which might take years to get to trial.

In an arbitration hearing, there is no judge and no jury. The case is heard by a sole arbitrator or a three-member panel of arbitrators. Parties have some say in who serves as the arbitrator or arbitral tribunal. The parties can sometimes agree upon the arbitrator or arbitration panel; other times, the parties select the arbitrator or panel by each side ranking or striking their selections from candidates provided by the arbitration entity that has jurisdiction over the dispute, such as the American Arbitration Association, ADR or JAMS.

While some parties agree to voluntary arbitration to settle their dispute, many contracts and collective bargaining agreements include arbitration provisions that force the parties into arbitration instead of a civil lawsuit.

Our Arbitration Experience

In addition to his law practice, Michael Leonard also serves as a highly qualified arbitrator in employment-related disputes through the American Arbitration Association. Mike is well-suited to perform that function, having litigated (and is still litigating) cases for decades in virtually every type of employment-related matter.

In addition, as a regular part of his practice, Mike has handled countless commercial and employment arbitration cases for both claimants and respondents. These included employment disputes, union arbitrations and complex business-related disputes, including before the American Arbitration Association, ADR, FINRA and the NASD. You can click here to read more about his experience on the American Arbitration Association’s official website.

Discuss Your Case With One Of Chicago’s Top Arbitrators

No matter which side of arbitration you find yourself on, Leonard Trial Lawyers‘ experience is sure to assist you every step of the way. We would be happy to discuss your arbitration with you. Call us at 312-815-6572 or send us an email to arrange a consultation.