There is more than one way of resolving a dispute. For example, you can reach a settlement (outside any court proceedings), or you can take the matter to court.
One way of resolving disputes is to refer them to arbitration. In case of arbitration, it is not a judge who will solve the dispute and make a decision, but an “arbitrator”. There may be a single arbitrator, but more commonly is there to be three, known as the “arbitration panel”.
When is arbitration used? It can be used if the parties to an original agreement (such as a sale) have included an arbitration clause and agree that, if any disputes arise, they will refer them, not to the courts, but to arbitration.
In addition, arbitration can often be used in disputes between lawyers and their clients over fees. Some Bars offer an option to refer matters to arbitration. To find out more, go to What if I disagree with my lawyer?