A case could take a few months to over a year. It is not unheard of for cases to take a couple of years, especially if a lot of evidence needs to be presented. If the parties agree to arbitrate or have signed a mandatory arbitration agreement or clause within a contract, that time could be significantly shortened.
Another factor that could move arbitration out is if a party files emergency motions or administrative motions with the court. If the court wants to hear a motion, you will not be able to arbitrate until all such motions are heard and decided upon.
Just as with a court hearing, arbitration cannot be held without first completing all of the discovery. Once the discovery phase is complete, all discovery should be forwarded to the arbitrator to review so that he or she may use it in making an informed decision on your matter.
As for the arbitration hearing itself, the length depends on the complexity of the case, including the amount of discovery. An arbitration could take as little as an hour or two or it could last for several days.
The time frame can also change depending on the particular set of arbitration rules that the parties choose to follow. For instance, if the parties are using the American Arbitration Association’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures, then their case may be eligible for arbitration under the Expedited Procedures section if no claim or counterclaim exceeds $75,000.
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