What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a private process used to resolve all types of disputes whether it be based on allegations of breach of contract, fraud or tortious interference or to resolve a contentious business divorce.
Typically, the parties submit their disputes to one or three arbitrators (a.k.a. a "tribunal") to make a binding decision (an "arbitration award") about the dispute after receiving evidence and hearing arguments.
The award must then be confirmed in a court to convert it into a binding judgment typically through an expedited summary proceeding.
What does an
Arbitration is different from mediation because the neutral arbitrator, unlike a mediator, is authorized to render binding decision about the dispute.
During arbitration, the parties will present their case to the arbitrator(s) by introducing evidence and testimony. The arbitrator(s) will resolve any disputes about the disclosure of evidence or the parameters of any hearings.
After the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator(s) then issue an arbitration award, which can only be contested under very limited circumstances.
Key Characteristics of Arbitration
- Arbitration is a voluntary and consensual process which must be agreed prior to a dispute or after the dispute arises (through a "submission agreement")
- The parties choose the arbitrator(s) who is a private non-governmental actor like a judge
- Arbitration is neutral
- Arbitration is typically confidential prior to efforts to confirm or vacate the award
- The decision (i.e. the award) of the arbitrators(s) is final and enforceable.
- The decision of the arbitrator(s) is subject to more limited grounds of review than which is available in traditional litigation.