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What is Arbitration?

What is Arbitration?

What is arbitration? In arbitration, a neutral arbitrator has the power to decide how a legal dispute is resolved. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution which is heard by a certified, neutral arbitrator, a tribunal, or a panel of arbitrators. Arbitration takes place outside of the courtroom.

Florida attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is a 2019 to 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyer in Commercial Litigation.

Reed is the managing partner of Bloodworth Law, a 2020 to 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm located in Orlando and Winter Haven.

Bloodworth Law, PLLC, is committed to handling the most interesting cases across Florida. This can include cases where there is a request or requirement for arbitration.


  • is legal dispute resolution
  • uses a neutral arbitrator(s)
  • takes place outside a courtroom
  • is NOT mediation

Arbitration vs. Mediation

Arbitration is NOT mediation. Mediation is where disputing parties maintain control of the negotiation process with the help of a neutral third party. Parties in mediation do not reach a resolution unless all sides agree.

Arbitration Decides Dispute Resolution

In arbitration, the arbitrator has the power to decide how the legal dispute is resolved. Arbitrators hear from all parties who present their own cases. If agreed upon by both parties, opposing parties may call, question, and challenge witnesses. Evidence and materials may be presented by attorneys.

An arbitrator(s) receives evidence, hears arguments, makes a final decision and the dispute concludes.

In Arbitration:

  • Both parties are present
  • Question witnesses
  • Evidence presented
  • Attorney may present

Arbitrator Makes Final Decision

Benefits to arbitration include that they occur more quickly and efficiently than litigation, the hearings are private, as are the final decisions.

Parties to a lawsuit in Florida may be ordered into arbitration by a court, or when a dispute is over a business contract that included a binding arbitration clause.

Binding Arbitration Decision is Final

In binding arbitration, parties waive the right to a trial and agree to be bound by an arbitrator’s final decision.

Non-Binding Arbitration: Decision May Be Rejected

Non-binding arbitration is when the arbitrator decides on the outcome of the dispute, but the decision is not binding, and no enforceable award is issued. Disputing parties may reject the arbitrator’s decision and request a formal trial.

Arbitration Clauses in Florida Business Contracts May Include:

  1. Where arbitration will occur
  2. The organization or provider that will administer the proceeding and provide an arbitrator with the number of arbitrators that will hear and decide the case, and,
  3. Payment: that parties may split costs or that the successful party is entitled to recover costs and attorneys’ fees.
  4. Arbitrators may be chosen for their knowledge and specialization in certain areas.

Benefits Include:

  • Confidentiality
  • No public hearings
  • Held in private venues
  • Decision is private

Hearings and Decisions Are Confidential

Arbitration hearings and decisions are confidential. There are no public filings, records, hearings, or decisions announced. The procedure doesn’t take place in a public courtroom but may instead occur at a neutral location such as a conference table in a hotel or agreed-upon site.

If you’re considering arbitration or have a business dispute that must be settled through arbitration, talk with Reed about what Bloodworth Law can do to help you, your family, or your business.

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