What is the difference between arbitration hearings and jury trials?

Several factors differentiate an arbitration hearing and a jury trial:

  • An arbitrator does not have to go by the strict rules of evidence that the parties and their attorneys must abide by during a bench trial or jury trial.
  • Hearsay and other evidence that would not be allowed in a jury or bench trial may be allowed in an arbitration hearing.
  • The arbitrator's decision in binding arbitration must be followed, just as a court order. However, the arbitrator's decision does not have to be based on law, which it would be if issued by a judge.
  • Any decision made by the court, whether in a jury trial or bench trial, may be appealed. A decision reached through arbitration is usually not subject to appeal except in rare circumstances.
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