Arbitration can be defined as private litigation because the process is similar to a trial whereby parties present their cases to a decision maker who may render a binding final decision. However, in arbitration, the forum is not a court, it can be held at a convenient private venue and there are less procedural restrictions. Arbitration is an alternative to litigation, parties have more control over their case, but still leaves the ultimate decision to a neutral third party, the Arbitrator.
Although the Arbitrator will make the final decision as to the outcome of the case, parties are able to determine for themselves what the rules and procedures will be regarding evidence, witnesses, etc. They can also define the guidelines under which the arbitrator will make that decision. The arbitrator hears the arguments of both sides, asks questions, and later renders a decision in writing. The parties’ ability to make decisions regarding the process allows them more control over their own case than they would have in litigation.
Benefits of Arbitration
The parties to arbitration can schedule their hearing at a time and date convenient to them and avoid costly delays that sometimes occur in litigation, saving participants both time and money.
If parties agree, or if a contractual clause requires it, the outcome of the arbitration can yield a binding decision on all parties.
Subject to some exceptions, the Arbitrator’s decision and information disclosed during the arbitration is confidential. This allows the parties to settle their dispute without the details being made public.
Rules of the Process
We recommend the use of the rules and procedures of the American Arbitration Association. https://www.adr.org