Arbitrations are not the same as mediations. In mediations, the parties work with the mediator to reach an agreed resolution of their case. In arbitrations, the arbitrator’s job is not to negotiate a compromise; instead, the arbitrator’s role is to be a neutral decisionmaker. In arbitrations, both sides present their cases (including exhibits, testimony, and argument) and the arbitrator then issues a written decision. Arbitrations are a little less formal than trials, because they happen outside of the courtroom, but you are required to offer exhibits, question witnesses, and argue the legal reasons why the arbitrator should rule in your favor. The arbitrator will issue a written decision, usually within 2 weeks of the arbitration.
Arbitration is most often used in child support cases, or disputes that are more financial in nature, and because the arbitration decision is based on the evidence presented it is critical that the rules and procedures are followed.
If a matter is transferred to arbitration by a court pursuant to that court’s rules, the arbitrator’s fees are usually paid by that court. If the parties are engaging in private arbitration and the arbitrator’s fees are not paid by the court, an advance deposit is required and the final responsibility for fees is often included in the arbitration decision.
Elizabeth Turner has arbitrated many types of cases, including child support, property disputes, and TEDRA matters/estate disputes. If you are interested in scheduling a private arbitration, contact our office for availability and our current fee schedule.