Arbitration

Arbitration is a type of dispute resolution in which an authorized person is the arbiter of a legal dispute instead of the formal judge and jury process. Arbitration may be binding or non-binding, depending on the agreement of the parties. Typically, arbitration tends to be less formal, less expensive and much faster.

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Answers.com

The process by which the parties to a dispute submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or statutory provision.

Duhaime Legal Dictionary

An agreement to submit a dispute for a hearing and binding decision by a third-party, an arbitrator(s), who is neither a judge or a Court.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Process of resolving a dispute or a grievance outside a court system by presenting it for decision to an impartial third party.

Both sides in the dispute usually must agree in advance to the choice of arbitrator and certify that they will abide by the arbitrator’s decision. In medieval Europe arbitration was used to settle disputes between merchants; it is now commonly used in commercial, labour-management, and international disputes. The procedures differ from those used in the courts, especially regarding burden of proof and presentation of evidence. Arbitration avoids costly litigation and offers a relatively speedy resolution as well as privacy for the disputants. The main disadvantage is that setting guidelines is difficult; therefore the outcome is often less predictable than a court decision.

FindLaw

The process of resolving a dispute (as between labor and management) or a grievance outside of the court system by presenting it to an impartial third party or panel for a decision that may or may not be binding.

Law.com Dictionary

A mini-trial, which may be for a lawsuit ready to go to trial, held in an attempt to avoid a court trial and conducted by a person or a panel of people who are not judges. The arbitration may be agreed to by the parties, may be required by a provision in a contract for settling disputes, or may be provided for under statute. To avoid clogged court calendars the parties often agree to have the matter determined by a panel such as one provided by the American Arbitration Association (which has a specific set of rules), a retired judge, some other respected lawyer, or some organization that provides these services. Usually contract-required arbitration may be converted into a legal judgment on petition to the court, unless some party has protested that there has been a gross injustice, collusion or fraud. Many states provide for mandatory arbitration of cases on a non-binding basis in the hope that these "mini-trials" (proceedings) conducted by experienced attorneys will give the parties a clearer picture of the probable result and lead to acceptance of the arbitrator's decision.

Lect Law Library

A method of alternative dispute resolution in which the disputing parties agree to abide by the decision of an arbitrator(s).

The submission of a dispute to an impartial third person or persons. The arbitrator or arbitrators are selected directly by the parties or are chosen in accordance with the terms of a contract in which the parties have agreed to use a court-ordered arbitrator or an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association. If there is no contract, usually each party chooses an arbitrator and the two arbitrators select a third. When parties submit to arbitration, they agree to be bound by and comply with the arbitrators' decision. The arbitrators' decision is given after an informal proceeding where each side presents evidence and witnesses.

Legal-Dictionary.org

Dispute resolution by a third party who has been chosen by opposing parties who agree to abide by the decision.

The Free (Legal) Dictionary

The submission of a dispute to an unbiased third person designated by the parties to the controversy, who agree in advance to comply with the award—a decision to be issued after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard.

Arbitration is a well-established and widely used means to end disputes. It is one of several kinds of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which provide parties to a controversy with a choice other than litigation. Unlike litigation, arbitration takes place out of court: the two sides select an impartial third party, known as an arbitrator; agree in advance to comply with the arbitrator's award; and then participate in a hearing at which both sides can present evidence and testimony. The arbitrator's decision is usually final, and courts rarely reexamine it.

Wikipedia

Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the "arbitrators", "arbiters" or "arbitral tribunal"), by whose decision (the "award") they agree to be bound. It is a settlement technique in which a third party reviews the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding for both sides.