Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution that can be highly effective for certain disputes. Similar to mediation, the parties have great control over the procedures of resolving the dispute outside of a courthouse. Unlike mediation in which the parties themselves decide how the dispute is to be resolved, in arbitration a neutral third party (an arbitrator) is vested with the authority to make the decision. Arbitration generally is less expensive and faster than the normal court trial.
Arbitration has the advantage of being a more flexible and adaptive process than a court trial. For example, parties may:
- choose to have a single arbitrator or a panel
- agree, in advance, whether the decision will be binding or non-binding
- select an arbitrator with a legal background or specific knowledge of an industry or issue relevant to the dispute
- agree that the arbitrator will decide the entire dispute or only certain issues, which provides the parties with flexibility to decide the remainder of the dispute on their own terms
- choose to combine arbitration and mediation in a manner that allows them to resolve some issues by agreement, but allows the arbitrator to break any deadlocks by issuing an order on unresolved issues
The Lakeside Mediation Center works with parties to design the most efficient and cost-effective arbitration process for their dispute and, if desired, provides independent arbitrators.