The entertainment and sports industry has been slowly stepping away from litigation and moving more towards arbitration and mediation. Not only are both of these methods faster, they also spare entertainers the pain of making their personal lives public information. For example, let’s say a dispute arises between an artist and his label. Both the artist and the label would prefer going to arbitration or mediation because of the many benefits over litigation. While there is room for negotiation in arbitration and mediation, litigation generally does not allow it. With their busy schedules, ADR methods also fit better into entertainer’s schedules. Unlike court dates and hearings, arbitration and mediation meetings can be set up on weekends and evenings. Many issues that arising within the entertainment industry are solved without the pain of litigation. Here are some of the reasons we are seeing a shift in the entertainment industry’s position on litigation:
Benefits of Arbitration
- Parties are able to bring in more evidence than would be permitted in a court room. This is to make sure that each party feels like their voice has been completely heard.
- Since the arbitrator will generally specialize in the entertainment industry, clients tend to view decisions are more fair and informed.
- Arbitration hearing are held privately, so high-profile individuals do not need to worry about their private information becoming public record.
- Arbitration hearing are much faster than going through the court system and can be scheduled around the entertainer or athlete’s work schedule
Benefits of Mediation
- Parties are able to come together and discuss the best possible solutions for them.
- Since relationships are a crucial factor of the entertainment industry, mediation allows the parties to discuss their relationship and maintain one in the future.
- Parties may be able to come up more creative and custom-tailored solutions since they are deciding themselves, instead of leaving it up to a judge or jury.
A Precaution for Lawyers
Although more and more entertainers and their teams are turning towards ADR methods, many lawyers are not trained to arbitrate or mediate. As law school graduates, many lawyers feel like going through the court system is the best way to solve disputes. However, many scholars argue that they will have to change their opinions in the near future. Another reason lawyers will have to become trained arbitrators and mediators in the future is because many entertainers and athletes having binding arbitration and/or mediation clauses written into their contracts. This means they do not have a choice on whether they want to pursue litigation or ADR methods. Many arbitrators have ruled that these mandatory arbitration clauses are not unreasonable and are enforceable. Therefore, we should expect to see an even higher number of entertainment disputes being resolved through arbitration or mediation instead of the court system.
Source referenced: HuffingtonPost