Jeff Venzie is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Construction Industry Panel of Arbitrators and serves as an arbitrator in construction industry disputes. He has also been admitted and serves as an arbitrator in state and federal court civil cases as part of the arbitration programs for those court systems.
If the parties to a dispute that is not before the AAA or being litigated in court mutually agree, Jeff can serve as their sole arbitrator or as part of an arbitration panel in a private arbitration.
Arbitration is a procedure for resolving disputes without going to court. As in a court, a hearing is held where the parties present their arguments in the form of documents and sworn witness testimony, however, instead of a judge, there is an arbitrator who hears the evidence, issues rulings and makes a decision that binds the parties.
Arbitration can have some advantages over litigation:
- Speed: Disputes are typically resolved more quickly through arbitration than in state or federal court.
- Cost: The legal fees associated with arbitration are typically lower than litigation, particularly if the discovery process is limited—a common feature of arbitration.
- Subject Matter Expertise: Unlike in the court system where judges are assigned to cases randomly by an administrator, the parties to an arbitration have the power to choose their arbitrator – whether the proceeding involves a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators. This means the parties can select an arbitrator with particular subject matter expertise. In the specialized world of construction disputes, a knowledgeable arbitrator means less time educating the decision maker and a greater chance that the ultimate outcome aligns with industry practices.
- Confidentiality: Arbitration is not a public, government-managed process so it can provide more privacy to the parties involved in a dispute. In most cases, the hearings, decisions and awards remain confidential.