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We’ve discussed alternative dispute resolution, where people who are entangled in a court battle agree that they can resolve this outside of a lengthy, messy court proceeding. But not all forms of alternative dispute resolution are accomplished through mediation.

This is why we’re discussing arbitration. There’s even one very famous arbitrator you’ve very likely heard of. Still, if you find yourself asking questions about how to resolve your own dispute — that isn’t dramatized for television — give us a call today

Many arbitration cases happen because of a contract’s arbitration clause — think nondisclosure agreements. Still, you’ve likely also watched civil cases play out via arbitration. Ever heard of Judge Judy Sheindlin? That’s right: Judge Judy’s famous televised cases are matters of arbitration. 

Just like in Judge Judy’s courtroom, all parties agree that the arbitrator will pick a side in the dispute at hand and make the final judgment. Unlike in mediation, where the mediator guides all parties to come to an agreement, the arbitrator gets the final say. 

Like a courtroom judge, the arbitrator hears each sides’ arguments and examines the evidence at hand. Unlike in mediation, the arbitrator gets to make the final judgment in the dispute. Fortunately, this isn’t TV, and your arbitration hearing will not likely contain the antics of Judge Judy’s courtroom. That’s why we’re here to help!

If the case comes from an arbitration clause in a contract, this can get complex. The clause may determine how the matter is settled, where the parties meet, how the arbitrator is chosen, who pays for attorney’s fees, and whether that final judgment will be kept confidential. If you do have options in your own dispute, you may be able to resolve your alternative dispute resolution virtually. This means no driving to any courtroom or lawyer’s office and resolving your dispute on a video call from the comfort of your own home. Let’s talk about your options!

Whether to resolve the dispute by the arbitration may be mandatory per the contract agreement or a choice made by the parties. The final decision may be binding or nonbinding. 

In the case of binding arbitration cases — in the words of Judge Judy’s courtroom — “the rulings are final.” Using Judge Judy as our example, both sides agree to binding arbitration. It means they don’t have to appear in front of an active judge in a drawn-out court battle, but the decision the arbitrator makes is the final say.  

Again, your case won’t be as dramatic as Judge Judy’s courtroom. But there are cases where the arbitrator’s word isn’t the final ruling. In a nonbinding case, if the parties don’t agree on the arbitrator’s ruling, they can take their case to court, after all. What’s the point of arbitration just to end up in a courtroom, you may ask? Well, the arbitrator’s ruling can be used as strong evidence in the ensuing court case. 

Arbitration isn’t as simple as it appears on TV, but it isn’t as complicated as law dictionaries may have you believe, either. But you don’t need law dictionaries to learn all of this! That’s what we’re here for. Call us today and let us guide you through your own dispute.

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