What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is the process used to allow an unbiased third party, called an Arbitrator, to evaluate the facts and arguments presented by all parties in a civil case. Once evaluated, the Arbitrator will render a final decision, which is not binding and can be appealed by Nevada’s Rules of Arbitration. Arbitration is one of various subsets of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). As indicated in the name, the idea behind ADR is to provide a less-expensive, less-lengthy alternative to going to court to resolving a legal dispute. Arbitration and other ADR methods were primarily designed to provide a streamlined and economic alternative to handling legal issues. In this article, we’ll take a look arbitration, how it works, and how it differentiates from going to court.

Will my case go to arbitration?

Anyone can agree to arbitrate a disagreement or legal dispute, but the important word here is “agree”. Just because one of the parties in a dispute requests an arbitration hearing does not take away the other party’s right to a court hearing. Arbitration only happens when both parties agree to it, either before or after a legal complaint is filed.

Provided the lengthy process for a trial, arbitration and other ADR methods have become increasingly popular. Although most people may not fully understand how it works, people every day agree to resolve legal disputes via arbitration.

What is arbitration in a lawsuit?

Although arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), arbitrations can take many forms. In almost every arbitration, however, the plaintiff will send the defendant a notice of intent to arbitrate a legal dispute, explaining the basis for the dispute. There is typically a period for response and the selection of an arbitrator before the hearing itself.

The rules of arbitration varies greatly. In most cases, a contract will specify the rules governing a dispute. A legal professional specializing in alternative dispute resolution can also provide assistance in these matters.

Typically speaking, the arbitration process includes many of the same components as a court trial. Evidence is evaluated, arguments are made, witnesses are called and questioned, etc… However, provided that arbitration hearings are less lengthy than court hearings, the process is significantly streamlined.

Following the arbitration hearings, the arbitrators will work together to come up with a uniform decision. Depending on the type of arbitration, the ruling is final; however, you’ll have the option to appeal.

Arbitration vs. Litigation

It is easy to become confused by the difference between arbitration and litigation (lawsuit). As mentioned above, arbitration is often viewed as a faster and more cost-effective solution when compared to traditional litigation to resolving a dispute bewteen parties.

Another key factor to consider is the fact that, unlike traditional litigation where a judge is assigned, in arbitration, you get to select your arbitrator. If your case escalates to court, neither the plaintiff nor the defendant is granted any input regarding who the judge will be, as judges are assigned at random. However, with arbitration, it is likely that you and/or the defendant will have some input as to who the arbitrator will be. On the contrary, the random selection of ruling can be beneficial as you can rest assured knowing the judges will have no “reason” to rule in favor of any specific side.

Another potential benefit that arbitration is that the proceedings are typically not made public record and have more simplified rules and procedures. For individuals wishing to settle their disputes discretely and privately, this consideration holds signifiant weight.

Resources: Las Vegas, NV Arbitration Rules and Forms

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