- Litigation is the process of taking a case through court.
- In litigation process, a case (suit or lawsuit) is brought before a court of law having the jurisdiction to hear the case, by the parties involved (the litigants) for resolution (the judgment).
- Arbitration is the process of bringing a business dispute before a disinterested third party for resolution.
- The third party, an arbitrator, hears the evidence brought by both sides and makes a decision.
- Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), used in place of in the litigation hope of settling a dispute without the cost and time of going to court.
- The arbitration process is private, between the two parties and informal, while litigation is a formal process conducted in a public courtroom.
|Private/Public||Private – between the two parties||Public – in a courtroom|
|Type of Proceeding||Civil – private||Civil and criminal|
|Evidence allowed||Limited evidentiary process||Rules of evidence allowed|
|How arbitrator/judge selected||Parties select arbitrator||Court appoints judge – parties have limited input|
|Appeal available||Usually binding; no appeal possible||Appeal possible|
|Use of attorneys||At discretion of parties; limited||Extensive use of attorneys|
|Waiting time for case to be heard||As soon as arbitrator selected; short||Must wait for case to be scheduled; long|
|Costs||Fee for arbitrator, attorneys||Court costs, attorney fees; costly|