What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is the “step up” from mediation because unlike mediation, which has an open ended solution, in arbitration, the parties often agree to the process only taking a certain amount of time, and of great importance, the solution in arbitration is BINDING.  Unlike in mediation, where a court will still have some flexibility, arbitration is a binding contract and once all parties sign on the dotted line, the settlement is final.  If the parties cannot agree, they can ask that the arbitrator declare an “impasse,” at which point, the arbitrator will make a binding decision on the outcome of the matter.  Arbitration is rarely used in most person-to-person disputes and most often used, perhaps unfortunately, in workplace and union disputes.