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Legal Term Glossary


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Arbitration is a dispute resolution system.  In arbitration the disputing individuals each present their side of an issue to an arbitrator who will act like a judge and decide the matter. There are two types of arbitration: binding voluntary arbitration and mandatory non-binding arbitration.

Binding Voluntary Arbitration is a process where the disputing individuals agree to settle their matter privately outside of the public court system using an arbitrator, a professional decision maker that is chosen by one or both of the disputing parties, to decide the dispute. Arbitration does not require the use of court rules or procedures and is viewed as a simplified private court proceeding. Each side will present their case to the arbitrator who will then decide the issue. Once the matter is decided the case is over and in most cases the court will enforce the arbitrators decision.

Mandatory Non-binding Arbitration is a process used by the court system where individuals who meet certain qualifications will have their case decided by a court appointed arbitrator instead of a judge. Decisions made in this type of arbitration are non-binding meaning that either individual may ask for a new trial in trial court.