What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It is a technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts. The parties to a dispute agree to submit their matter to arbitration by one or more persons (the “arbitrators”or “arbiters”), and agree to be bound by the arbitration decision (the “award”). The Arbitrator, a neutral third party, reviews the evidence, by document and testimony, in the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts. There are limited rights of review and appeal of arbitration awards.
This form of alternative dispute resolute is often used for the resolution of commercial disputes. In certain countries such as the United States, arbitration is also frequently employed in consumer and employment matters, where arbitration may be mandated by the terms of employment or commercial contracts. In Kitsap County, arbitration is mandated by the courts for personal injury cases with damages under a certain amount. However, arbitration can be useful in any non-criminal matter.
Who needs Arbitration?
People involved in a dispute who are unable to reach an agreement on one or more matters but wish to keep the matter out of court.
In personal injury, contract, and most civil matters, that would be a determination of liability and, if appropriate, a decision on the amount of damages payable. In a divorce matter, it would be the determination of the distribution of assets and debts, the parenting plan matters, and the child support, etc.
Arbitration Services with Compass Legal Services
Arbitration can be either voluntary or mandatory, but can only be mandated from a statute or from a contract that is voluntarily entered into, where the parties agree to hold all existing or future disputes to arbitration, without necessarily knowing, specifically, what disputes will ever occur.
Arbitration and can be either binding or non-binding. Binding arbitration is a decision imposed on the parties that they are legally obligated to follow. Non-binding arbitration is similar to mediation in that a decision cannot be imposed on the parties. The principal distinction between mediation and non-binding arbitration is that a mediator will try to help the parties find a middle ground on which to compromise, the arbitrator remains totally removed from the settlement process and will only give a determination for the resolution of the matter.
Contact Compass Legal Services for Arbitration
For additional information about Arbitration contact Compass Legal Services today. To schedule your initial consultation call 360.471.3300 or email our office.