There are different methods by which a legal dispute may be handled including litigation, mediation and arbitration. It is helpful for parties to a dispute to understand the different legal processes, including arbitration and how it works.
Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution which refers to alternate options to resolve disputes as an alternative to civil litigation. Resolving disputes in court is the most commonly known and understood method of resolving legal disputes. Alternative dispute options can provide a more cost and time efficient method of resolving legal disputes.
The parties to a legal dispute can agree to arbitrate their dispute if they choose to. The parties to the dispute can agree either before of after the legal dispute arises, including as part of a contract. Typically arbitration is initiated when the complaining party sends a notice to the opposing party of their intent to arbitrate the dispute and outlines the basis for the dispute. The other party then has the opportunity to respond to the dispute. The arbitor or arbitors are then selected and a hearing is held. Arbitration generally involves the same components as litigation including the presentation of evidence; making of arguments; and questioning witnesses, however, the process may be simplified.
In addition, it depends on the arbitration agreement but there may or may not be options to appeal the arbitration decision if a party disagrees with the it. When a civil dispute arises, it is important to know and understand the options for resolving the dispute and how they work so the parties can be prepared and resolve the dispute with the most positive outcome possible.