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Although the legal system provides the opportunity to resolve disputes in court, sometimes it's best to avoid a lawsuit. That's the idea behind alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which includes arbitration. The arbitration process involves an impartial intermediary who hears arguments by both sides and makes a binding decision on how to resolve the issue. The intermediary, often a retired judge or lawyer, is chosen and approved by both parties. His or her job is to hear arguments, much like traditional civil litigation, and then issue a decision that is considered final. Unlike litigation, appeals are seldom allowed in arbitration.

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