What is judicial arbitration?
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
>Judicial arbitration programs exist at both the state and federal level and even federal agencies such as the IRS, have arbitration programs in place for evaluating certain fact-based disputes.
Judicial arbitration was adopted by the court system as a means of ending filed disputes more quickly and less expensively. In order to qualify, you must already have a filed lawsuit. In most cases, it is the responsibility of the parties to request the arbitration.
The Judicial Arbitration Process
The process of judicial arbitration follows that of a regular arbitration. The lawyers for litigating parties each present their side of the case to a selected arbitrator. The arbitrator then gives his opinion on who would win and how much the loser would pay. In some cases, the arbitrator and the issues to be resolved must be approved by an overseeing judge.
Attorneys define how the arbitration proceeds in an arbitration agreement. For instance, the arbitrator can view other forms of evidence that would otherwise be inadmissible and hear testimony uninterrupted by objections. After hearing both sides, the arbitrator makes a decision.
How Binding Is the Decision?
How binding the decision is depends upon the court’s arbitration rules. Some states have binding arbitration requirements where the arbitration proceeding is completely binding and is simply entered in as the final judgment. In these cases, parties must file a motion for trial during the arbitration if they are having doubts about the process.
In a non-binding judicial arbitration, the parties can accept this opinion or continue their litigation. If one side does not accept the opinion, there are certain consequences if that side fails to do better at trial.
Learn more in What is non-binding or advisory arbitration?
Overall, judicial arbitration has proven to be very beneficial when used by parties. It drastically reduces court expenses, resolves the case much faster, and typically results in a decision that results in both parties feeling justified. For more information on judicial arbitration in your state, contact your attorney.