Litigation ENewsletter June 18 2009

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution that resembles the traditional litigation process, although the proceedings are typically less formal. Also, in arbitration the parties usually agree to employ the procedure before any dispute arises, and they may have the right to decide who will hear their case. Like litigation, at the arbitration hearing the parties present their competing evidence to a "judge," called an arbitrator, who then makes a win/lose decision and issues an order, judgment, or decree. Sometimes, a panel of arbitrators will hear the case. There are formal rules that must be followed regarding procedure and evidence. The decision is final, although there are very limited rights of appeal. Because of this limited right to review, the choice of arbitrators is crucial. The parties' lawyers can help them make this pivotal decision.