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The Difference between an Arbitrator and a Judge

If you are involved in a lawsuit or contract dispute, you’ll find that things may function differently in some situations. Business law works in other ways when you have agreed to arbitration versus court litigation. You may run into both in the course of your career. It’s important to understand the difference.

in-courtBusiness law disputes can be addressed in a court of law overseen by a judge. The rules of evidence apply and the courts appoint the judge. The opposing parties have no control of the choice of judge. It’s a formal process and involves business law attorneys. Judges evaluate the evidence and make a final ruling on the evidence.

Taking a case to court can be a long and expensive process. Arbitration cases are scheduled quickly. There is typically a long wait for a court case to be scheduled. There are many costs involved including attorney fees and court fees. However, the decision can be appealed which is not the case in arbitration cases. Arbitration is an informal proceeding similar to a conventional trial, but much similar. A person called an arbitrator takes the evidence in question and makes a decision for both parties involved.

There are some basics to arbitration that differentiate it from a court case. Many people confuse mediation with arbitration but they are different. Arbitration, like court cases, involves a third party Arbitrators are not necessarily business law lawyers. The parties involved make agreements about the finality of the arbitration when they agree to arbitrate. Mandatory court-annexed arbitration for smaller civil cases as part of courthouse litigation procedural rules allow for appeal.

Judges are paid by taxes. Business law arbitrators are paid by the involved parties and are typically paid an hourly rate. If you and another party are working with an arbitrator, be sure to ask about costs up front. The length of arbitration varies depending on the complexity of the case. Simple business law cases can take less than a day while others may last for weeks; however, they are generally much shorter than the time involved in filing a court complaint to a final ruling.