Arbitration is a resolution process by which a neutral individual reviews the evidence in a case and imposes a legally binding decision on the matter. Arbitration can also be combined with mediation into a well-recognized hybrid dispute resolution process in which the selected neutral individual acts first as mediator, facilitating discussions between the parties with the goal of reaching an agreement, and failing agreement, proceeds to conduct an arbitration and render a decision.
Arbitration can be used to resolve any kind of dispute – civil, family, commercial, estate and employment issues among others. It has significant advantages to the court process for resolving disputes. It is significantly less costly than litigation and the hearing itself and the results are confidential. The arbitration process is also significantly quicker than the court process, and because the parties themselves are involved in determining the process for the arbitration itself, it is generally less complicated than navigating through the courts. Arbitration is more flexible, set around the schedule of the parties.
The parties to a dispute will normally agree on the arbitrator who will determine their dispute. After an initial discussion with the arbitrator, each party will sign an arbitration agreement that outlines the process and deadlines for any preliminary tasks. The agreement will also outline the fees and how those fees are to be paid. The length of the arbitration process will depend on the number of issues to be decided and the complexity of the matters involved, and the process the parties choose. Arbitration hearings are most often held in a neutral location, usually at the office of the arbitrator. The parties can be represented by counsel, or present the facts as a self-represented party. Once all of the fats have been presented, the arbitrator will take time to review all of the evidence provided and all the testimony given, and then render a decision called an award. The decision is legally binding on the parties and courts will enforce the judgment granted by the arbitrator.
Arbitration can be an efficient, cost-effective resolution process. If you would like more information about arbitration of your dispute, our qualified arbitrators would be happy to provide you with more information.