Arbitration is a method of resolving disputes where a neutral party (Arbitrator) hears both sides present their case and renders a decision. It can be a binding decision, where the decision is final and can be confirmed in the court, or a non-binding decision, where either party can appeal the decision. Arbitration can be compelled if a signed written contract includes an appropriate arbitration clause. The parties can and should be represented by an attorney, but not required. Unless a written agreement exists specifying discovery and applicable laws, the Arbitrator decides. Arbitration is typically accomplished in a conference room, as a mini-trial, where the parties present evidence and witnesses as they would in court. The Arbitrator gives a written opinion, Arbitrator’s Award, as to who won and what they won. Arbitration is less costly than court but may limit the information that you can obtain from the opposing side.
An attorney can advise you as to:
- whether or not you are required to arbitrate a dispute,
- whether the decision of the arbitrator will be final,
- assisting you in preparing your evidence and witnesses for the arbitration,
- requesting evidence from the opposing side,
- drafting an arbitration brief,
- presenting your case at the arbitration, and/or
- confirming the Arbitration Award in court or appealing the Arbitration Award.