I have practiced primarily plaintiffs' injury law in my 18-plus legal career. I now... more
I have practiced primarily plaintiffs' injury law in my 18-plus legal career. I now am involved mainly in alternative dispute resolution and legal journalism. I am editor of the Washington State Bar Association Bar News and write the Bar Beat column, which appears in print and online.
When you want to settle a dispute without going to court, you may benefit from the services of an arbitration lawyer. In an arbitration setting, you and the other involved party select a neutral third person to serve as an arbitrator. Acting in the role of an informal judge, the arbitration lawyer listens to both sides of your dispute. Unlike a court proceeding, arbitration involves no formal procedural rules and gives you a chance to tell your story in your own words. After hearing the arguments, the arbitrator makes a final binding decision. The decision is legally enforceable if someone later tries to renege. The arbitration process is very similar to court litigation but is more casual, flexible, and private—and less expensive and time-consuming.