In Oregon there are two types of arbitration rules under the Oregon Statutes related to representation. The first type of arbitration is noted in ORS 36.400 – ORS 36.425 https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/36.400 and sets out the arbitration program. We will refer to this as the “Court Mandated Arbitration Program”. Under this program, when a person or business files a lawsuit in Civil Court and the amount sought is $50,000 or less (excluding fees and costs), the lawsuit is automatically transferred to the Court Mandated Arbitration Program. Under this program an arbitrator will be assigned and the parties will present their case to the arbitrator, who will render the final decision. The decision is final and binding, much like the decision directly handed down by a judge or jury. In this type of arbitration, any company or business must be represented by a licensed attorney and the individual has the right to represent themselves (pro se) or retain a licensed attorney.
The second type of arbitration is referred to as a “Private Arbitration” and is noted in ORS 36.670 https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/36.670. These type of arbitration clauses are found in contracts of any sort and specifically call out for arbitration in lieu of filing a Civil Complaint in the Circuit Court. Under a Private Arbitration, a party may be represented by a lawyer admitted to practice in Oregon or any other State. However, a corporation, business trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture or other legal or commercial entity may be represented by a lawyer admitted to practice in Oregon or any other State, by an officer of the entity, or by an employee or other agent authorized by the entity to represent the entity in the arbitration proceeding.
Slingshot Legal Services offers our clients that very option under the Private Arbitration scenario. We are retained as either a contract employee of the entity or as the agent on behalf of the entity. There are a variety of benefits with respect to this option such as cost savings, our knowledge of contracts and the internal functions of the contract, our knowledge of the arbitration process and successful history of representing contractors and other business entities in private arbitrations and our experience in litigating all types of disputes and issues.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions related to the differences between Court Mandated Arbitration and Private Arbitration, and we will provide our thoughts.