How Arbitration Works
Litchfield County Center for Dispute Resolution offers binding arbitration, a process to resolve disputes without attending court and incurring the costs associated with protracted litigation. Our neutrals serve as arbitrators, hear evidence and issue legally binding decisions quickly, efficiently and without the necessity of court involvement. Arbitration is supported by our state law. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-408 Agreements to arbitrate
Contact our offices to arrange for arbitration. We offer services in these areas:
- Real estate
- Personal Injury
Arbitration, like mediation, is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It, however, differs from mediation in two significant regards:
- As in a trial, it involves the presentation of testimony of witnesses and the introduction of documentary evidence; and
- The decision issued by the arbitrator is binding.
Arbitration is typically conducted by a single arbitrator who is usually a judge or lawyer with experience in, and knowledge of, the legal issue in dispute. However, in some cases the plaintiff and defendant choose to have their matter decided by three arbitrators- one chosen by each party and the third selected by the two arbitrators selected by the parties. With multiple arbitrators, different perspectives are provided, and it minimizes the chance of any bias.
The arbitration is held in a private office but has many of the formalities of a trial. Discovery is conducted, witnesses are sworn, self-directed or directed in questioning by attorneys, the rules of evidence are followed, and final arguments and briefs are typically presented. At the conclusion of the evidence, the arbitrator(s) deliberate on the matter and issue(s) a binding decision.
Benefits of Arbitration Over Litigation
Despite its similarities to a trial, arbitration offers several benefits over litigation:
- Quicker Resolution. Litigation, especially complex litigation, can take years to get through the court system. Arbitration provides a means by which a matter can be resolved much more quickly than a matter that is dictated by the court’s schedule.
- More Flexible. Once a trial begins in court the parties have little ability to schedule witnesses, adjourn to the unavailability of witnesses, or otherwise modify the trial schedule. Private arbitration has flexibility that many people and businesses might need while involved in trying to resolve a dispute.
- “Expert Arbitrator”. Litigants have no choice in the judge that will decide their case. Complex matters with technical issues in dispute may get assigned to judges with little or no knowledge of the issues in dispute. Through arbitration, parties can select an arbitrator(s) who have the background to issue a sound, well-informed decision.
- Confidential. Arbitration proceedings and awards are non-public. They can be made confidential which may be important to the litigants, especially businesses.
We look at resolving disputes differently