Excerpt: It’s All Your Fault : Arbitration

© 2011 By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.


Arbitration is a more formal dispute resolution process. It’s built into the power structure for many organizational grievances and conflicts, including those based on labor management contracts, homeowners association procedures, or government agency procedures. While these may also offer neutral mediation, many have arbitration clauses built in to their rules. Arbitration is more formal than mediation, with certain procedures that must be followed, and the decision-maker is the arbitrator, not the people in conflict.

Arbitrators are supposed to be familiar with the laws and rules applying to your dispute. Therefore, going to arbitration may force the HCP to learn about the laws and rules and the potential consequences of not following them. If the HCP loses in arbitration, it usually costs them something important, such as a sizable settlement, their job, or a piece of property. Also, the loser in arbitration often has to pay some or all of the other person’s attorney’s fees, as well as the arbitration fees.

Simply having to go to arbitration sometimes influences HCPs to change their behavior. The last thing many HCPs want is to have someone else making decisions about their behavior. For example, Narcissists may feel belittled and Antisocials may feel dominated. On the other hand, Histrionics may enjoy the attention and Borderlines may believe that the arbitrator will be “all good” (splitting)and will therefore take their side. So you have to Analyze Your Realistic Options about this. Arbitrators may be found through local organizations or through the American Arbitration Association at www.adr.org. This organization also has mediators. The Association of Conflict Resolution mentioned above (www.acrnet.org) under Mediators also has arbitrators listed on its website.

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, and mediator. He is the co-founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute, a training and consultation firm that trains professionals to deal with high conflict people and situations. He is the author of several books and methods for handling high conflict personalities and high conflict disputes with the most difficult people.

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