Arbitration is a common alternative to the court system. In many cases, arbitration provides the same impartial legal process as a court. However, arbitration cases can be processed for a lower cost than traditional court cases. The following guide explores some of the differences between arbitration and the traditional legal system.
In the United States, there are civil and criminal court systems. While the criminal court system deals with crimes that carry a criminal punishment, such as rape or murder, the civil court system deals with contract law. This could include lawsuits against a contractor who failed to deliver a service or a doctor who engaged in medical malpractice.
Arbitration is a civil law procedure. Arbitration can’t be used to address any issues with the criminal code. However, it does have several benefits when dealing with civil issues in the court system.
If an individual decides to sue a third party for damages or compensation, they will usually have to file a lawsuit in a regular court. After filing the lawsuit, it has to be served on the defendant through the use of a process server. This process can be very time-consuming and expensive both plaintiffs and defendants.
In some cases, individuals will agree to arbitration as an alternative to the court system. Arbitration cases don’t involve a judge or attorneys for a defendant and plaintiff. Instead, a neutral arbitrator hears facts from both the defendant and the plaintiff in a case. Based on those facts, the arbitrator will make a civil ruling, which often involves rewarding a financial amount to one party or the other. Unlike regular court proceedings, arbitration can be a relatively quick process.
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