Family law litigants who want someone, like a judge, to resolve their disputes, but want that resolution to remain private and out of the public eye, can retain Alexandra to provide either binding (i.e., court-enforced) or non-binding arbitration. The key benefits of arbitration are:
- Arbitration is similar to Private Judging, but it has the advantage of being kept out of the public record. This can encourage spouses to more freely discuss issues and disclose documents without fear of public access. Arbitrations are always private proceedings whereas Private Trials are always public: neither the media nor the public is allowed in Arbitration proceeding without the consent of all the parties, whereas Private Trials with Private Judges must, by law, remain open to anyone who wishes to attend.
- Documents submitted to the arbitrator during Arbitration proceedings are confidential, and neither released to the public nor submitted to the court. Again, this extra layer of privacy encourages more open, honest communication between parties. Thus, especially in high profile and large asset/income litigation, Arbitration is the only method by which the parties can assure that the public does not have the opportunity to delve into and disseminate information about the parties’ private finances.
- Procedural rules and rules of evidence are much more relaxed in Arbitration than in trial.
- Although arbitrators generally do not have to follow substantive law and procedural rules as in trials, parties can choose to sign an arbitration agreement that does provide for the Arbitrator to abide by the procedural and substantive laws of the State of California, and can further provide, that the Arbitrator’s failure to do so entitles the parties to seek review of the entire proceeding in the trial court. Preservation of this right of review alleviates any party’s concern that the Arbitrator may opt to make awards that are not anticipated or which do not follow California law.