Arbitration

iStock_000003390628XSmallArbitration is a pri­vate hear­ing or trial. The par­ties agree to hire a pri­vate deci­sion maker. The arbi­tra­tor hears tes­ti­mony and reviews other doc­u­ments pre­sented by each side and then reaches a decision.

The par­ties must agree to par­tic­i­pate in arbi­tra­tion. However, in some cases, the agree­ment to arbi­trate was signed in a doc­u­ment that pre­ex­isted the dis­pute, for exam­ple, in an employ­ment con­tract or a con­sumer financ­ing agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

IS ARBITRATION CONFIDENTIAL?

Arbitration, unlike medi­a­tion, is not by law a con­fi­den­tial process. However, it is pri­vate in the sense that, unlike court cases, no doc­u­ments are open to pub­lic review and no deci­sion is on record unless and until the par­tic­i­pants file one with a court.

ARE LAWYERS INVOLVED IN ARBITRATION?

Usually, but not always, par­ties in an arbi­tra­tion are rep­re­sented by attor­neys. In some case, they may be rep­re­sented by some­one like a union representative.

DOES ARBITRATION PRECLUDE ME FROM GOING TO COURT?

This depends on the agree­ment of the par­tic­i­pants. Binding arbi­tra­tion means that the arbitrator’s deci­sion is final and can­not be appealed to a court. Nonbinding arbi­tra­tion allows a par­tic­i­pant to try again in court. However, if a party appeals to a court and loses, he or she may have to pay addi­tional fees or costs to the other party.

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