In recent years arbitration has become increasingly important in the legal world. Many credit card, employment manuals, brokerage agreements and contracts provide for conflict resolution by arbitration rather than court proceedings. What this means for many potential claimants or adversarial parties is the court house is no longer an option. Agreements calling for arbitration before a single arbitrator or before a multi-panel of arbitrators is mandatory and, if properly invoked, these contract provisions are routinely enforced by the Courts.

What happens if I am to be involved in an arbitration proceeding?

An arbitration is very similar to a court proceeding. The Arbitrator presides at the trial just as a judge does at the courthouse. There is no jury. The arbitrator is the sole judge of the facts and decides the outcome of the case. The proceedings in arbitration are somewhat less formal than an appearance in front of a Judge at the courthouse and the rules of evidence may be relaxed, allowing additional information to come before the arbitrator. After counsel to the dispute each complete the presentation of evidence and argument for their respective client, the Arbitrator will render a decision that disposes of the dispute.

Since the arbitrator is the sole judge of the facts and how the law is to be applied, it is important to know who the arbitrator is and what experience the arbitrator has in resolving cases.

Mike Metcalf, a former District Judge, presided over thousands of civil and criminal cases during his tenure on the bench. As an arbitrator, he has often been called upon to sit in judgment of a wide range of civil disputes.

Sitting as an Arbitrator Mike brings to the dispute a fundamental belief that at a trial, irrespective of the forum, all parties should be treated equally under the law. At trial, Mike will insist upon and allow the parties to present all of the admissible factual evidence. After hearing both sides of the dispute, Mike will reach a decision in a timely manner.

Parties to an arbitration Judge Metcalf presides over can rest assured that the rule of law applicable to the dispute will be fairly and timely applied by a neutral person with a judicial background. No one will get a head start because of who they are in Judge Metcalf’s arbitration tribunal.