BY ROBERT F. COPPLE
ROBERT F COPPLE, J.D., Ph.D., is an Arizona-based arbitrator and mediator,
Copple & Associates, P.C., www.Copplelaw.com. A shorter version of this article
was previously published in Arizona ADR Forum, Spring 2011.
here is no doubt that the resolution of legal dis-
putes is often a very expensive business.
Particularly within a deep and prolonged reces-sionary economy that has forced businesses to closely
scrutinize the value of every expenditure, litigation is
increasingly viewed as an unnecessary evil or luxury
that should be avoided, as opposed to a more routine
“cost of doing business.” But while arbitration may be
touted as the better and more cost-effective dispute
resolution alternative, that process has recently been
subject to increased scrutiny and criticism.
As attorneys and parties move away from the traditional judicial litigation process, they take to arbitration much of the same baggage that has made litigation the bane of American business. Arbitration was
originally intended as a cheaper, faster and more flexible way to resolve disputes. However, because of litigant demands (or assumptions) of the same formal
procedures that have slowed and encumbered litigation in the courts, such as extensive discovery, complex motion practice, prolonged hearings and a higher likelihood of judicial review, arbitration has become