As used here litigation is a trial or motion heard or conducted in state or federal court in which the decision maker is a judge or a jury. In litigation control is put in the hands of the judge to hear evidence and questions of law and decide the outcome of the case. The courts powers are limited to awarding, or denying, a money judgment; declaring the rights of the parties; or making an order.
The evidence and law that the court can consider is strictly defined, and the ultimate decision can generally be appealed to a higher court by any party. As a result, litigation is often the most expensive form of dispute resolution and generally consumes the most elapsed time from start to finish.
I have represented clients in hundreds of cases since 1977. I believe my ability to do so increases my clients likelihood to ultimately resolve a case through a less onerous procedure.
Arbitration also places the ultimate decision in the hands of a neutral decision maker. Sometimes, the parties simply cannot get past one or more issues dividing them in mediation or negotiations. It may also be that they determine that it is simply more effective and perhaps less emotionally draining than bargaining. Occasionally, when there are many parties, arbitration is more practical. Arbitration is a mini-trial, often with pre-agreed relaxation of rules of evidence, maximum and minimum result limits, or other variances from litigated trial procedure. The process may be binding or non-binding at the election of the parties. The grounds for appeal of the decision of an arbitrator in binding proceeding are greatly limited, but can be enlarged by agreement.