In terms of arbitration and litigation, these are instances that have the exact same goal; however, the processes in which they go about obtaining a settlement are quite different.
In terms of arbitration, the process involving this is more private. This involves only two parties and is more informal. It is also a process that is fairly quick in nature as well. When an arbitrator is selected, the case is able to be heard right away by an unbiased third party in an attempt to help resolve the dispute. They will hear both sides of the issue, then make an attempt to come to a final decision. There is a limited evidentiary process involved with arbitration, meaning that a limited amount of evidence is permitted to be presented. No appeal is possible once a final decision has been reached. In terms of costs, there is a fee that must be paid for both attorneys and the arbitrator.
Litigation, meanwhile, is conducted in a public courtroom. This is more of a criminal and civil proceeding, and more evidence is permitted to be presented in this type of case. The judge is appointed by the court, and the parties involved have a limited amount of input in this matter. This is also a more formal type of case, and in terms of a final decision being made, an appeal is possible. Attorneys are also appointed for both parties as well. In terms of costs, fees must be paid for attorneys and court costs, all of which can result in great expense.
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