When you have a choice of forums in which to litigate a dispute you can’t otherwise resolve, which is cheaper, litigation or arbitration? Which is quicker? Which is more efficient? The only completely accurate answer to all three of these questions is the lawyer’s favorite answer: it depends. Generally, litigation in any court is going to be more expensive than litigation in any arbitral forum. This is because, unlike courts, which allow liberal pre-trial discovery, most arbitrators are disinclined to allow discovery beyond exchange of documents and perhaps some responses to written questions. Depositions, usually the most expensive form of discovery, are discouraged in arbitration. However, depending upon which arbitral forum you choose and who the arbitrators are you may find that much of the discovery and motion practice that inhere in court cases will also be present, albeit to a lesser degree, in the arbitral forum. When the question changes to speed and efficiency, however, the answer is less clear. Again, usually an arbitration forum will get you to the resolution stage more promptly than most courts…

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