What is Arbitration
What is Arbitration
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that is used instead of traditional litigation. In arbitration, the two disputing parties must pick and then agree on one or multiple arbiters that will have the ability to decide who wins the case. Unlike mediation, these neutral arbitrators can have the power to make a legally binding decision. Additionally, if the arbitrator’s decision is binding, appeals can occur only in rare cases. In cases where arbitration is not binding, the arbitrator’s decision is only advisory and either party can choose to ignore the ruling.
One other important characteristic of arbitration is that the arbitrators that you select for your case do not have to be licensed attorneys and can instead be experts of a given field. Finally, the arbitrator’s opinions and the judgment from the case do not become part of the public record once your trial is over. Even in situations where the ruling from your ADR hearing is non-binding, it is important that you have an experienced attorney on your side who is able to guide you through any legal issues that may occur before, during, or after your arbitration case.
What Happens Before Arbitration
Typically, before this form of ADR begins, the arbitrator(s) of the case conduct a preliminary hearing with the parties. This hearing allows the arbitrator(s) to talk to the parties about important issues. This issues include witness depositions, sharing of information, and other topics that will allow the hearing to go smoothly. After the preliminary hearing, both parties will begin to prepare for the hearing and exchange relevant information. After this portion of the arbitration process, the actual hearing will commence.
What Happens During Arbitration
The arbitration process is quicker and less formal than a traditional court hearing. However, both side’s legal representation will open the case by making opening statements to the panel of arbitrators. Furthermore, both attorneys will present evidence and testimony to the arbitrators and unless the case is particularly complex, this is normally the only time when the attorneys make arguments before the arbitrators. Although the hearing stage may have finished, both parties can present additional documentation or evidence supporting their argument. However, these post-hearing submissions must be approved by the arbitrators before they are presented. Once both parties present their arguments, the arbitrator(s) give their reasoning and then state what award the winning party will receive.
Contact our DC Law Office for More Information
For more than 20 years, Antonoplos & Associates has practiced mediation and arbitration throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Furthermore, our attorneys have arbitrated cases under numerous arbitration institutes. These institutions include the American Arbitration Association and the Center for Dispute Resolution to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients.
For more information on our arbitration practice area, contact us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. For more information on alternative dispute resolution, check out our blog.