What is Arbitration?

Print PDF

Arbitration is a process whereby a neutral third-party hears both sides of a dispute and makes a decision. Usually the parties agree in writing that the arbitrator’s decision will be binding. Sometimes all that the parties want is another opinion-- an unbiased, second-opinion. In that case the parties agree that the arbitrator will only give an advisory opinion and an explanation of how that opinion was reached.

Compared to litigation, arbitration is faster, less expensive, more peaceful and confidential. A knowledgeable person is chosen as arbitrator who gets to use common sense, knowledge and experience to judge the relevance and weight (value) of the evidence presented. Thus the parties don’t have to worry about rules of evidence and what evidence is admissible. Juries can only give damages. Jury verdicts can be unpredictably high or low and even arbitrator’s awards can be unexpected. When both parties are concerned about that, they can agree in advance to a maximum and minimum payment, which the arbitrator is not told about. The parties can even agree in advance how any award will be paid. Like mediation, the parties can even agree that rather than a money judgment, the responsible party can fix the problem. The parties can also agree that the arbitrator’s award will not become a judgment until there is a chance to make good on the award or to fix the problem. To schedule an arbitration, call (540) 373-1848 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .