Arbitration is a form of alternate dispute resolution based on a contract between the parties. Arbitration is based on a contract between the parties.  Arbitration proceedings may permit discovery, live testimony before the arbitrator whose decision, depending on the circumstances, may be binding and enforceable in Court. In both Federal and State Courts arbitration agreements will be enforced. Many arbitration contracts specify the organization to provide the arbitrator and which arbitration rules to use. Arbitration is used by the parties as a forum which is normally less expensive and much faster than a judicial proceeding. Normally the arbitrator’s decision is binding and final although some judicial review is possible. Often the parties select the arbitrator from a list of candidates whose background and experience are acceptable to both parties. The arbitrator chosen is often a retired Judge or lawyer or a specialist in the field from which the dispute arises such as construction or automobile maintenance. By using arbitration the parties gain some control over the background and qualifications of the hearing officer. Arbitration agreements are usually enforced by the Court unless the dispute can be settled before arbitration begins. Often the agreement to arbitrate names the organization to handle the arbitration and the rules of that organization to be employed during the arbitration. If the agreement to arbitrate does not name the organization to handle the arbitration or identify the rules to be followed, the parties have a wide variety of choices available to them to conduct the arbitration. The parties may choose to use a single arbitrator or three arbitrators. In arbitration, unlike court, every event which uses the arbitrator’s time is billed to the parties. The parties thereby gain some control over expense and have an additional incentive to settle the case or work to a method for reducing the length of the hearing and the number of documents to be used at the hearing.

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