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The Difference Between Arbitration, Mediation, and a Trial

Transcript of Arbitration Vs. Trial

Hi, my name is Mitchell Reichman.  I’m a board certified specialist in Family Law and chair of the Family Law Department at Jaburg Wilk.

Arbitration is different than trial in important ways. First, arbitration occurs in private offices and so the process is confidential. Another way it’s different is if arbitrators are not bound by time constraints that judges find because of their crowded calendars. Arbitrators can set hearings based on the convenience of the parties without having to accommodate many other people all at the same time.

It would not be inaccurate to think of an arbitrator as a private judge. It is a person who is appointed by court order to make decisions, very much the way a judge would make decisions. This is an important distinction between arbitration and mediation. Mediators have no authority to make any decision; arbitrators are fully empowered to make decisions. They hold hearings, they take evidence, they listen to testimony of witnesses, they can issue subpoenas to have witnesses appear and they make decisions after trial.

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