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Arbitration cases are those disputes decided in arbitration instead of in a court of law or through a mediation and settlement agreement. Arbitration is an alternative method of dispute resolution, designed both to facilitate the easier settlement of some disputes and to reduce congestion in court systems. The concept of arbitration is valid in the United States as well as in many other countries such as England, France and other systems throughout the European Union and elsewhere.
Arbitration cases occur when parties privately agree to resolve disputes in arbitration, instead of in a court of law. Thus, arbitration agreements and arbitration cases are a form of private law. Still, arbitration agreements and arbitration decisions are enforced by formal courts of law and arbitration cases can be reviewed in a court of law.
Most commonly, two parties agree to settle their disputes in arbitration when they contract with each other. Many contracts contain an arbitration clause. It will use language that states that any conflicts must be resolved in binding legal arbitration and will usually also spell out the terms of how the arbitration procedure will take place.
An arbitration clause will be enforced in most jurisdictions, both in the United States and elsewhere. There is a presumption in favor of enforcing arbitration clauses, as long as the procedural and substantive terms of the clause are fair. This means that as long as the arbitration clause sets up a procedure in which both parties have a fair chance to present their case and have a resolution in their favor, the court will require the parties to submit the case to binding arbitration and will not hear the case.
During binding arbitration, the arbitrator or panel of arbitrators hears the case. The exact way in which a case is presented and the specific number of people arbitrating the case varies depending on the terms of the arbitration clause. Usually, one or more professional arbitrators hears the case and the individual parties each present their side of the dispute, as if it were in court.
The arbitrator then makes a decision on the resolution of the dispute. This decision may involve one party paying monetary damages to the other party, or may compel some other type of behavior on the part of one or more of the parties, such as following through with a contract or stopping a certain behavior. The court will enforce the decision made by the arbitrator in binding arbitration, which means arbitration cases decided by an arbitrator have the weight of the law behind them and the people involved in the arbitration must do what the arbitrator says.
If a person does not like the result of arbitration, he may appeal to a court. The court, however, will not review the arbitrator's findings of the facts. The court will only review to make sure there was no substantive or procedural bias, which means the court will only review to make sure everything was fair.
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