Q. After an unsuccessful informal mediation process, our company is moving to arbitration for the first time. Could you give us some guidance on how to present our case so that we don’t feel the need to hire an attorney or someone else to represent us?
A. Jaime Bustamante. First, let me begin by saying that depending on the complexity of the case, it may not be a bad idea to hire someone with experience such an attorney, to represent you. However, you should be aware that with arbitration, as with any litigation before the courts, attorney fees are not necessarily awarded as part of the settlement. And if they are awarded to the prevailing party, it may not be the full amount.
At the beginning of the formal process, the DRC will provide you with a Statement of Claim (SOC) template which includes detailed instructions on how to present your case. Clarification will be provided by staff as required. Here’s a brief description of the information required in the Statement of Claim:
Once the informal mediation process ends, the documents exchanged during that stage are sealed and remained confidential. Not even the arbitrator will have access to the informal file. However, this does not mean that you can’t summarize the information gathered during the informal procedure and include it in your SOC.
Finally, be reminded that the information you provide in support of your case will have an impact on the arbitrator’s decision and award.