Question: what is Arbitration?

Arbitration like mediation is an alternative to litigation.

Arbitration is generally conducted with a panel of multiple arbitrators who take on a role like that of a judge, make decisions about evidence and give written opinions (which can be binding or non-binding). Although arbitration is sometimes conducted with one arbitrator, the most common procedure is for each side to select an arbitrator. Then, those two arbitrators select a third arbitrator, at which point the dispute is presented to the three chosen arbitrators. Decisions are made by majority vote.  Many times arbitration is required in a contract and the contract will set forth which persons can sit as arbitrators.  The main reason for this is to ensure that the arbitrators have an understanding and knowledge of the industry in which the arbitration is dealing with.  For example, a contract between a pool construction contractor and a homeowner might require binding arbitration if there are any disputes regarding the construction of the pool. The contract can require that the arbitrators must be active members of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.  Having this requirement in the contract can provide some piece of mind to the contractor due the fact that the decision maker is intimately familiar and works in the pool or spa industry.

One of the benefits of choosing arbitration over litigation is the fact that the arbitration process is generally faster.  According to a study by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, the average time from filing to decision was about 475 days in an arbitrated case, while a similar case took from 18 months to three years to wend its way through the courts.

Another benefit to arbitration is that the parties have flexibility as to when the arbitration will occur allowing the parties to agree to a date, time and location which is convenient for them.  In comparison when a matter is in litigation the trial date is dictated by the Judge’s schedule with the parties having little to no input in the decision as to the trial date.

While not every case is perfect for arbitration, it is an avenue which can be effective and should be considered by the parties to a dispute prior to filing a lawsuit.

For more from FindLaw, go to http://adr.findlaw.com/mediation/mediation-vs-arbitration-vs-litigation-whats-the-difference.html

Ryan Wynne, the author of this article, is an attorney with the firm Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. who has practiced law in south Florida since 2007.

If you want to learn more about mediation, arbitration, litigation and what the chances are of your personal injury case settling before going to trial in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Stuart, or anywhere else in the state of Florida then you should contact Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynn, P.A. Or, if you have questions about many other real world legal issues in cases of serious injury claims, auto accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, nursing home, products liability, insurance litigation, law enforcement misconduct, commercial law and other personal injury cases in Jupiter, West Palm Beach, or throughout the state of Florida, you need to contact a firm with a level of expertise that yields results. That firm is Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynn, at http://www.sswlawfl.com.

Our office is located at 1015 W. Indiantown Road, Suite 101A in Jupiter, Florida. You can contact us by phone at (561) 686-3400, or via email at info@sswlawfl.com. Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

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