Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution method most similar to a trial – with a few fundamental differences. Arbitration is defined as a “hearing and determination of a case in controversy.” The arbitrator, a judge in arbitration, is an unbiased person, who is qualified by the state to make a final decision on the issues presented in a case based on the evidence presented by each party. The procedure for choosing an arbitrator varies in each case. For example, the court or the parties can select a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators to judge their case.
Arbitration vs. Mediation
The words arbitration and mediation are often used interchangeably; however, there are major differences between the two methods. Unlike mediation, a voluntary agreement process, arbitration does not require party agreement – an arbitrator’s decision is usually binding regardless of party agreement. In arbitration, an appeal is generally not allowed, but parties may file a motion to vacate judgment, which is often denied. Arbitration is somewhat like mediation, because while the process closely resembles a court trial, it is usually conducted in a less formal setting under relaxed standards of evidence. In addition, the trial schedule is controlled by the parties and their lawyers, not the court.
Contact our Houston Arbitration Attorney
Myres and Associates, PLLC has extensive experience with representing clients in arbitrated divorce and family law matters, especially relating to contract drafting disputes. If you would like to learn more about arbitration, don’t hesitate to contact our office!