Texas is a pillar of commerce in the United States. Although most transactions go smoothly, some disputes may still arise. Rather than dealing with lengthy court proceedings, many entrepreneurs and businesses opt for arbitration.

The basics of arbitration

Arbitration is a private process for determining disputes outside the court system by one or more neutral arbitrators who ultimately decide the outcome of the dispute. The arbitrators must have no stake or interest in the outcome of the disputes they decide. Before entering arbitration, all parties must agree to reach a conclusion via the arbitration.

Arbitration is similar to a courtroom trial, but is typically faster and more streamlined. After the arbitration starts, all parties present their case to the arbitrator, including testimony, documents, and other evidence to support their claims. The arbitration is usually completed at one hearing, which may take place over one or more days. Although outcomes may not always be perfect, the quick resolution process is the primary benefit of arbitration.

Arbitration vs. other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Mediation, which also involves a neutral third party, does not require the parties to come to a resolution – instead, the mediator assists the parties in deciding whether they can resolve their issues voluntarily. If parties cannot resolve their differences in mediation, the case can still proceed to court or arbitration. Mediators do not determine final outcomes for the parties, but they can propose solutions that the parties are free to accept or reject.

Resolving disputes can be stressful. Hiring a lawyer can improve the outcome of your case.