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How Dispute Arbitration in Chicago IL Differs from Litigation

In some situations, parties who are involved in a legal dispute may decide to participate in dispute arbitration in Chicago IL rather than move forward with litigation.  Dispute arbitration in Chicago IL differs from litigation in a number of key ways, including;

Arbitration Agreement

In litigation, the parties must comply with rules based on civil procedure and evidence.  In arbitration, the basis of the conduct and procedures of the parties are based on the arbitration agreement that the parties sign.  This agreement sets forth the particular issues that will be decided and whether traditional rules of evidence will apply.

Fact Finder

In litigation, the fact finder is the judge or jury.  In arbitration, the parties agree to select an arbitrator to decide the case.  This is usually someone with particular subject matter expertise.  The parties personally select this individual rather than having the person assigned as is done in litigation.


The arbitration agreement sets out the process that arbitration will take, including how much discovery will be completed or how it will be limited.


The parties also agree as to whether the decision that the arbitrator makes will be binding or not.  In litigation, the parties cannot make this decision.


In litigation, a party who is not satisfied with the fact finder’s decision may decide to appeal the case, further stretching out how long the case endures.  With arbitration, appeals are not usually allowed, unless there are provisions for appeals in the arbitration agreement.  Any appeals to a court to overturn the arbitrator’s decision must be based on very narrow reasons, such as fraud.