This is a more formal process where the arbitrator may or may not have the ability to bind all parties.  Contracts may require binding or non-binding arbitration before any litigation can be started in the court system.  The arbitrator acts as a decision maker for the dispute and makes a decision based on the facts and law presented by the parties.  The arbitrator is impartial and has no personal or professional interest in the case.  There may be a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators.  In most situations, all sides of the dispute must agree to the selected arbitrator. 

The American Arbitration Association, AAA, is one of the best-known arbitration groups in the U.S.  With a full roster of approved arbitrators, it is a frequently used source to find an experienced arbitrator.  AAA arbitrators are all approved through a vigorous application and vetting process.  Additionally, arbitrators are governed by the Code of Ethics for Arbitrators.

Why parties choose arbitration:

  • Parties have more choice than in the court system as to who decides their dispute and the arbitrator’s depth of expertise and knowledge of the subject matter. For example, if the dispute is related to intellectual property rights, having someone experienced in family law disputes would not be as beneficial as having an IP attorney.  The parties can choose an experienced arbitrator they respect for the arbitrator’s experience, knowledge, judgment, and temperament. 
  • Parties can design a process to fit their needs. They can break disputed issues into multiple hearings to help get items off the table so that there are fewer issues in dispute. 
  • Typically, arbitration takes less time and expense than pursuing disputes through the court system.
  • The arbitrator is not compelled to follow court precedence and can craft solutions that are more closely tailored to the issues in dispute and potentially more palatable to the parties.

Jaburg Wilk attorneys, Kathi M. Sandweiss and Maria Crimi Speth, are AAA arbitrators and are also available for private arbitrations. Lauren Garner and Mervyn Braude are all appointed Judge Pro Tempores for Maricopa County Courts.  They stand in place of the judge.