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Dispute Resolution Part Two: Arbitration

In our previous blog, we discussed the preferred method of dispute resolution: mediation. But what do you do when mediation doesn’t work, it is refused, or it is not an option? The short answer is arbitration. Let’s take a closer look.

In arbitration a third party, called an arbitrator, steps in to decide the outcome of the dispute. Typically this involves a hearing in which both sides present their case and evidence. It is important to note that while this is still an escalation from mediation, it is outside of the court.

Each dispute follows its own regulations regarding the type of arbitration possible according to Florida Statues. Arbitration can be either binding or non-binding, depending upon what both parties agree to or depending on what the law requires.

  • Binding arbitration is when both parties agree to adhere to the arbitrator’s decision.
  • Nonbinding arbitration is when the parties choose whether they agree to the arbitrator’s decision after the verdict.

While mediation is favored, arbitration is still less costly and time-consuming than full litigation (covered in our next blog). Arbitration, since it is outside of the courts, is also typically private. Unless required by law, most arbitration will not be required to have public records, making this a more desired resolution method over litigation.

Preventing Disputes

One of the most sure-fire ways to not only be on the right side in a dispute, but also to avoid disputes in the first place, is to have sound and bulletproof documentation. This means all of your governing documents are in order. These include:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
  • Rules and Regulations.

An attorney can help you create comprehensive governing documents, as well as creating safe and legal amendments. In many cases, governing documents can be the saving or failing grace for disputes, depending on whether they are sound.

When it comes to disputes, there can be many questions and misnomers, we hope that this series of blogs clarifies your options.

As always, contact us today if you have questions regarding disputes or other real estate and community law.

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