In most current day real estate purchase and sale agreements there are arbitration clauses. Arbitration is a process for resolving a dispute outside of the court system. The parties pick a neutral person or persons to arbitrate or decide the outcome of their case. The arbitrator listens to the evidence presented by each party and makes a decision based on that evidence. That decision is usually enforceable in a court after the arbitration decision is final.
In the real estate context, most of the real estate forms include a mediation first requirement. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party attempts to resolve the case by helping the parties negotiate with one another, but does not make a decision in the case. The arbitration clauses usually require mediation before arbitration. The penalty for not going along with the mediation first is that the winning party cannot obtain attorneys fees later in the arbitration.
Arbitrations may be administered by a private arbitrator who can be found through arbitration services from organizations such as the American Arbitration Association (www.adr.org), or the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Society (JAMS), (www.jamsadr.com). David M. Sternberg & Associates has been involved with numerous mediations and arbitrations and can help you mediate your case, decide on which arbitration process is best, and decide if there are alternatives to arbitration. An important aspect in the arbitration process is choosing the correct arbitrator and we are experienced in helping our clients achieve this. Call us today for a consultation at (925) 946-1400.