In a small percentage of cases, when parties have been unable to resolve their dispute through mediation, they may voluntarily allow an impartial panel to make a legally binding decision through arbitration. Unlike mediation, but like a court decision, this process results in less control and ownership of the decision by the parties – but it is ideal when an agreeable resolution cannot be reached otherwise. The benefits include a fair and impartial decision; privacy; and a savings in cost and time.
Arbitration is a voluntary process, which parties elect by inclusion in a contract, or by submission.
Arbitration is a more formal process involving hearings during which each party involved in a dispute is given the opportunity to present evidence, sworn testimony and argument in support of their position. While not required, attorneys may represent parties.
You can begin an arbitration by using these forms.
Mediation/Arbitration (Med/Arb) is a combination of mediation and arbitration in which parties agree in advance that they will attempt to resolve the dispute with the assistance of a mediator but, failing that, those aspects of the conflict that remain unresolved will be submitted to an arbitration panel for a final and binding decision. You may determine at the outset of the process whether the same individual(s) who mediated will serve as arbitrator(s) or if another individual, or panel of three, will be used. New arbitrators will be appointed unless all parties agree to use the same individuals that served as mediators.
A sample Med/Arb agreement may be viewed here