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What Is The Arbitration Process Like?

As the popularity of using methods like arbitration to resolve disputes begins to grow, more and more people find it a more valuable option than filing a lawsuit. But how much easier is it than going to court? And does it actually work? This article will walk you through the steps of the arbitration process so you can decide for yourself if it’s the best option for you.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is the process of bringing a business dispute before an unbiased third party in order to settle the disagreement. The Arbitrator hears both sides and then comes to a decision about how to resolve the problem. It allows the disputing parties to avoid litigation and all the time and fees that come along with it.

Steps In The Arbitration Process

Step One: Filing and Initiation
One party submits a Demand for Arbitration to the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the other party is notified and a deadline for response is set.

Step Two: Select an Arbitrator
The AAA works with both parties to come up with criteria for their arbitrator selection. Once the criteria are set, the AAA selects an arbitrator.

Step Three: Preliminary Hearings 
The arbitrator sets a preliminary hearing to discuss the dispute, collect all the information and procedural matters like whether there will be witnesses, depositions, etc.

Step Four: Prepare for Your Hearing
After the preliminary hearing, the parties involved will be able to prepare for their presentations and exchange information with each other.

Step Five: The Hearing
The hearings now begin. Both parties get a chance to present their testimony and evidence to the arbitrator. There is usually only one hearing unless the case is really complex.

Step Six: Post-Hearing Submissions
After the hearing, post-hearing submissions may be taken. This includes any additional documentation allowed by the arbitrator.

Step Seven: A Final Decision is Made
Finally, the arbitrator goes over all the information given to them and comes to a decision.