If you file a lawsuit, chances are that your case will take at least two years to go to trial. Courtrooms are bursting at the seams, and judges can only handle so many cases. So, you may ask your attorney – can my case be resolved without going to court?
When looking to solve a legal problem without going to court, there are two primary different types of procedures you can go through.
One is mediation, which is typically a way that you can work through a case that is already in litigation, or is preparing to be in litigation.
You can work through the issues with an independent third-party who is usually an attorney with knowledge about the law and the facts of the situation.
The mediator tries to assist people into coming to some resolution to their claims before litigation or before trial.
The mediator does not make any decisions. He or she talks with the parties about working through their problems.
Arbitration is the second way to avoid the courtroom, and it is a much different process.
An arbitrator is someone who is appointed to hear the claims, and it can be one person. It can also be a panel of three or more.
Typically, lawyers will hear the claim, and then they will actually make the decision on the claim. It’s kind of like trying your case, but not to a jury; you’re trying it before other lawyers.
The problem with arbitration is that it takes away a lot of your rights.
If you’re trying a case before a jury of twelve people in your community, they’re supposed to be unbiased and fair.
Whereas, if you’re trying your case before an arbitrator, this could be someone that may have some kind of bias that you’re not able to explore. You may not get the same reaction you get from a jury.
Another thing with an arbitrator, it takes away a lot of rights with regard to discovery and things you typically can do in a standard lawsuit that will be tried before judge and jury.
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.