Your Case. Our Cause.

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 across the country. Nonetheless, a considerable and increasing number of cases end through negotiated settlements, mediation, or arbitration rather than by trial verdicts. In fact, it is now common in both the employment and commercial contract arena 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 than traditional litigation. It operates in a similar manner to a civil court, but with less formal rules of evidence. In addition, in an arbitration, the discovery process is typically far more limited 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 to a civil trial in litigation, can be reasonably expected to take place within six months to a year or more. That is lighting speed when compared to a typical civil litigation matter, which might take years to get to trial.

In an arbitration, there is no Judge and no jury. The case is heard by a single Arbitrator or a three member Panel of Arbitrators. Parties have some say in who serves as the Arbitrator or Panel. The parties can sometimes agree upon the Arbitrator or 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.

Our Arbitration Experience

In addition to his law practice, Michael Leonard also serves as an Arbitrator in employment-related disputes through the American Arbitration Association. Mike is well-suited to perform that function, having litigated (and 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.

No matter which side of an 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.