Private Arbitration (Non-Binding and Binding)

Private Arbitration is used when parties having a conflict agree to an impartial person (arbitrator) to solve the dispute between them. The arbitrator looks at the evidence, hears the arguments, listens to witnesses, and makes a decision about the case under review. The arbitrator is given the power to make a decision about some or all of the issues in the case. The decision of the arbitrator is called the arbitration "award."

Binding Arbitration
Binding arbitration is different from judicial (non-binding) arbitration because the arbitrator's decision is final. Once parties have agreed to binding arbitration they give up their right to have a judge review their case later, (except for reasons listed in California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1286.2). Binding arbitration rules are listed in California Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 1280-1288.8.

When parties choose private, non-binding arbitration they do not go through the Court ADR Programs Office. Parties choose an arbitrator on their own, and pay the arbitrator's normal fees. Either party may return to court for a trial if they do not agree with the arbitrator's award.

Parties may agree any time before the judge has made a decision that ends the case to switch to binding arbitration. A court order enforcing an arbitrator's award is called "confirmation." Any party may petition the court to have an award confirmed using Judicial Counsel form ADR 106. You can download this form by visiting the CA Courts Website. For further information on confirmation read Confirming Your Private Arbitration Award. Parties choose the arbitrator on their own, and must pay the arbitrator's normal fees.



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