What is arbitration?

Arbitration is another form of dispute resolution, like mediation, that does not involve the court system. In an arbitration, the parties hire either a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators who are given the power to decide the dispute. The arbitrator’s decision is just as final and binding on the parties as a court order or judgment.

How the process works

Prior to the hearing, the parties can usually conduct limited discovery (such as depositions and written questions).  Then, at the hearing, each party presents their case to the arbitrator, which may involve questioning witnesses, oral arguments, and/or the presentation of evidence.

Arbitration as a quicker method of resolution

The advantage of arbitration over trial is that it is usually quicker, more private and convenient, and less-expensive. While the courts usually schedule trials more than a year away and often on dates and times that may be inconvenient for the parties, the parties to an arbitration have much more flexibility in scheduling their own arbitration hearing.  Also, arbitration is generally private, while a trial is usually public and anyone can request a transcript of the trial proceedings.