Another local attorney, Jason A. Lee, recently posted a great blog regarding the downward trend in the number of case filings in Tennessee. Click here to read his blog.
Of the 120,000 or so cases between Chancery and Circuit Court, only around 320 had a jury trial, with about 16,000 being decided by judges through a bench trial. This means that around 13% of cases actually go to trial. One of the main causes for the low trial rate is alternate dispute resolution. Many business and construction contracts have arbitration clauses in them. These arbitration clauses state that any dispute with the contract should be handled by a third party arbitrator, and not by the court. The costs associated with arbitration are typically lower than going to court, and the dispute can be handled quicker than through the court system.
The downward trend in case filing is good for small business owners in the area, but it does not mean steps shouldn’t be taken to continue to prevent litigation. Having solid contracts is an important step in the process.