Arbitration is a method for resolving a case rather than a traditional jury trial. Sometimes, it’s mandatory that you file your case for arbitration. Other times, it’s voluntary.
Here’s how the process works once you’ve filed your case:
Most counties in the State of Washington have what’s known as the Mandatory Arbitration Rule (MAR). MAR requires that cases valued at $100,000 or less must be placed into arbitration. These cases will then follow the arbitration process explained above.
Mandatory Arbitration exists to keep courtroom calendars open for larger cases. It also reduces the time, effort, and expenses involved when a case goes to trial.
There are several benefits of having a case go through arbitration instead of a jury trial:
Overall, the process is less formal and brings a quicker resolution.
As explained earlier, the Mandatory Arbitration Rule requires that cases under $100,000 be placed in arbitration.
But what if your case is valued at more than $100,000 and you want to opt for arbitration over a jury trial? You can still place your case into arbitration, the largest settlement amount you can receive is $100,000. Even so, sometimes you might decide the benefits of arbitration are worth the potential loss.
Yes; the current cost to place a case into Mandatory Arbitration is $220. There is also a $240 fee to start the lawsuit. These fees are subject to change.
The finality of the decision depends if the arbitration is mandatory or voluntary. If the case was voluntary, the decision is final. In mandatory arbitration cases, you can appeal the decision.
Either party can appeal if they believe the arbitrator’s decision was grossly unfair. But, there are some potential risks to consider before moving forward.
If a party appeals a decision, it then go to a jury trial. The party that files the appeal must have strong belief that they can improve their position. If they do not succeed, they will have to pay the opposing party’s attorneys’ fees. These fees can run thousands of dollars. This added process and financial risk often deter people from filing an appeal.
To learn if an arbitration or jury trial will apply to your situation, please call the attorneys at Ladenburg Law. We’re here to help explain your rights and legal options.