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Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution separate and apart from a trial or mediation.  Arbitration typically occurs when an employee signs an agreement at the start of their employment that binds them to an arbitration process if there is a disagreement with their employer down the road.  It is not uncommon for an employee to sign an agreement to arbitrate without actually realizing what they are signing.  However, courts typically uphold these arbitration agreements.

Arbitration is different from mediation.  In a mediation, the mediator may recommend a resolution, but the parties must ultimately approve of the outcome.  A mediator cannot force anyone to come to an agreement.  Arbitration on the other hand does bind the parties.  The parties are obligated to adhere to whatever decision the arbitrator comes to.  Essentially, an arbitrator is more like a judge, while a mediator is more like a negotiator.  

Arbitration is different than going before an actual judge though, because, among other things,  the proceedings will not take place in a courtroom; the parties choose their arbitrator through a selection process, and there will not be the opportunity for a jury.  

What legal recourse is available to you depends on the facts of your case and the documents you may have signed.  The attorneys at O'Hara, Taylor, Sloan & Cassidy are well-versed in all methods of dispute resolution.  To learn what options you have, call or e-mail us for your initial consultation today.  We offer flexible evening and weekend appointments to better serve you.  

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