One reason that parties include arbitration provisions in their contracts is the belief that arbitration is less expensive than litigation. This is only partially true. Discovery is typically the most expensive part of any lawuit, and discovery has become common in arbitration. In fact, under the Colorado Uniform Arbitration Act, arbitrators have authority to permit discovery. C.R.S. § 13-22-217(3). Additionally, everyone's tax dollars have already paid for our Judges, whereas the parties to an arbitration have to pay for the arbitration panel's time.
But arbitration can theoretically be less expensive in that an arbitraton panel's decision is almost bullet proof. And because it is so difficult to challenge an arbitration decision, there is less liklihood of an appeal following arbitration. This can cut both ways.