Resolving an argument through Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR or settling a dispute diplomatically would require an arbitrator to stand between both parties to discuss the terms. It includes mediation, where a negotiated settlement is discussed by an independent party offering a secured and controlled term. Outside of the court solution that is acceptable to both parties, the arbitrator looks into the pieces of evidence, and his decision binds the two parties.
Role of an Arbitrator
An arbitrator is a neutral party, commonly known as a third party, officially selected to handle an off-court dispute.
The difference between an Arbitrator and a Judge
Judges resolve cases and legal issues in formal proceedings such as the court. Although they are both licensed professionals, the arbitrator also performs and decides out of court. Both listen and apply similar laws after hearing the arguments from both sides.
Difference between an Arbitration and Litigation
The procedures for both are similar. Arbitration has less cost than court litigation. With the advantage of both parties to select the decider, the tight schedule in resolving it comes with advantages. Before arbitration, mediation will be accomplished first, thus easing the arbitrator the burden of reaching a decision. On the other hand, in litigation, the lengthy hearings and procedures sometimes take a toll on both parties due to the legal process set by the court.
It is stated in the arbitration clause that both parties will not sue each other in court. This offers a way of resolving the issue in favor of both parties. Some resolutions have provisions that arbitrators must not necessarily judge as per strict law by adhering to the general law in which the principles of practical business is regarded first. The acceptance of principles of law governing contractual relations is also considered.
This can be held via ad hoc or through a group. Though similar to trials, it doesn’t need a lawyer, but both parties can select an expert based on their track records and specific field. The arbitrator hears all the pieces of evidence and arguments from both sides and gives his opinion afterward. Used primarily on business and employment contracts, its main aim is to avoid litigation on the court. The arbitrator’s decision is added to the original contract when both parties agree and sign the insertion to the existing one.
Steps of an Arbitration Process
- Filing and submittal of Demand for Arbitration: Submittal of one party to the arbitration office. The respondent is notified and given ample time for responding
- Selection of Arbitrator: The arbitration office, after studying the criteria needed by both parties, will be selected.
- Preliminary Hearing: A date for a preliminary hearing will be set up to discuss issues concerning the case between two parties. The witnesses, depositions, and other information to the disputes will be shared.
- Information Swap and Groundwork: Both parties now prepare their presentations after the exchange of information.
- Hearings: During the trial, testimonies from both parties are presented. If cases are not too sensitive, this represents the only hearing in front of the arbitrator.
- Post-Hearing Submissions: Both parties may submit additional documents as per the arbitrator’s approval.
- Awarding: After studying the evidence and information regarding the case, the record will be closed by the arbitrator, and a decision is reached with the inclusion of awards if applicable.
Merits on Decisions
In some arbitration cases, awards, if possible, are included based on the arbitrator’s consideration of merits. This includes several types of awards.
- Interim – A temporary award granted until the tribunal releases its final decision. It is only possible if both parties agree to give the tribunals the power to execute as provisional basis examples were payment of money or non-financial award.
- Partial – A predetermined award that can be resolved while other issues are being negotiated.
- Consent Award – When both parties settled and agreed, but one party fails to comply. Enabling the other party to pursue an enforcement proceeding, which was usually expedited at the end of arbitration proceedings.
- Performance Award – Commonly done on awards and converting it into monetary form. It is most common to see awards made in monetary payment. Though it can be of another type such as specific work, it can be given away in forms of goods or privileges
- Draft Award – Not necessary, and it needs confirmation from the panel.
- Final Award – Containing all the reasons and information regarding the arbitration case, this is documented and signed by all arbitrating parties stating the location and date when this is made. Once finalized, it ends the proceedings.
- Additional Award – When an issue remains undecided on the dispute, parties can request other awards to settle it finally.
- For those that want to avoid pursuing a case, the help of an arbitrator through an arbitration hearing is much more preferred.