Arbitration (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The submission of a dispute to an unbiased third person designated by the parties to the controversy, who agree in advance to comply with the award decision to be issued after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard.
Arbitration is a well-established and widely used means to end disputes. It is one of several kinds of ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION, which provide parties to a controversy with a choice other than litigation. Unlike litigation, arbitration takes place out of court: the two sides select an impartial third party, known as an arbitrator; agree in advance to comply with the arbitrator's award; and then participate in a hearing at which both sides can present evidence and testimony. The arbitrator's decision is usually final, and courts rarely reexamine it.
Traditionally, labor and commerce were the two largest areas of arbitration. However, since the mid-1970s, the technique has seen great expansion. Some states have mandated arbitration for certain disputes such as auto insurance claims, and court decisions have broadened into areas such as SECURITIES, antitrust, and even employment discrimination. International business issues are also frequently resolved using arbitration.
Arbitration in the United States dates to the eighteenth century. Courts frowned on it, though,...
(The entire section is 1983 words.)
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