• Arbitration

    How is Arbitration different from Litigation?

    Arbitration is a form of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR).  In arbitration, the parties select a neutral person (usually a lawyer or retired judge) to decide their issues.  The parties appear with their attorneys and the arbitrator takes testimony and hears evidence, but the proceedings will be more informal and will not take place in a court.

    How is Arbitration different from Mediation?

    Mediation is a self-directed process where the parties reach an agreement with assistance from a neutral mediator.  While the mediator can provide recommendations and alternatives, he or she does not decide any issues.  In Arbitration, the arbitrator hears testimony from parties and witnesses and decides the issues.  (Although parties can choose non-binding arbitration, this is rarely done.)

    What are the benefits of arbitration?

    Arbitration proceedings can be scheduled at the convenience of the parties.  There is less wasted time than in a court-based proceeding and the process goes more quickly.  The parties select their arbitrator.  Arbitration is essentially the same as litigation but in a private setting with a private “judge” (the arbitrator) who is paid by the parties.

    What are the disadvantages of arbitration?

    Arbitration is not necessarily less expensive than litigation as the arbitrator is usually a very experienced attorney or retired judge who charges a high hourly rate.  In addition, there are only limited circumstances under which an arbitrator’s decision may be appealed.  Although the arbitrator can “decide” custody issues, the court will still retain the authority to overrule those decisions if a judge believes it is in the best interest of the children to do so.

    For more information about mediation and Collaborative practice, call Risa A. Kleiner, Esq. at 609.951.2222 or contact her by email at