Arbitration is the resolution of a dispute by submitting it to a neutral party, other than the court, who renders a decision.
In arbitration, there is generally an informal discovery process in which evidence is submitted to the arbitrator for evaluation of the case. The rules followed by arbitrators or various arbitration associations can vary widely. The arbitrator considers the evidence submitted and witness statements to make findings of fact and findings of law. In a binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is often final and difficult to set aside.
In a nonbinding arbitration, the parties can present their cases and the arbitrator can render a decision on liability and damages. While this may not resolve the case, it can lead to fruitful settlement negotiations and help resolve a case at a later point in time.
Most commercial agreements contain mandatory arbitration clauses that make the arbitrator’s decision binding. This enables parties to draft contracts and ensure a certain amount of protection against potential issues that may arise during ongoing business relationships without disrupting the business or the relationship between parties who often work together.
Arbitration allows a dispute to be resolved quicker and in a more cost-effective manner. At an arbitration, it is Ms. Sanford’s goal to help the parties resolve their disputes and maintain a good working relationship.