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Chrissy Teigen's New Legal Show

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Chrissy Teigen speaks on stage at the WSJ. Magazine 2018 Innovator Awards Sponsored By Harry Winston, FlexJet & Barneys New York - Inside at MOMA on November 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards)
By Ceylan Pumphrey, Esq. on May 30, 2019

Whether it's a scripted show or real-life cases presided over by Judge Judy, it's clear that people enjoy watching courtroom dramas on television. So, it makes sense that a new video platform called Quibi would greenlight a comedy called Chrissy's Court. The show is set to premiere in 2020 and will have Chrissy Teigen act as a "judge" over real small claims cases. The show will also feature her mother, Vilailuck "Pepper Thai" Teigen, as a "bailiff." The parties involved in the lawsuits will agree to abide by her verdicts.

But, how can a model, television and Twitter personality all of a sudden decide to be a judge? Well, two parties involved in a legal dispute can agree to arbitration instead of litigation, and the arbitrator doesn't necessarily need to be a lawyer.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), where the parties can reach a conclusion to their legal battle outside of a traditional court. While closely related to mediation, the main difference between these two forms of ADR is the fact that decisions made in arbitration are usually binding, while those made in mediation are not. There are a few advantages to choosing arbitration over litigation -- arbitration is usually a quicker way to resolve a legal dispute and usually costs less than litigation.

Who Can Serve as an Arbitrator?

It may come as a shock, but an arbitrator doesn't necessarily need to have any formal legal training. In fact, an arbitrator may be an expert in a particular field or have specialized knowledge, but not have a law degree. If the parties have a contract in place that requires arbitration of legal disputes, it may also include a list of acceptable arbitrators. If there isn't such an agreement in place, the parties can select their arbitrator. So, if both parties want to be on television and allow Chrissy Teigen to make a binding decision regarding their legal dispute, more power to them.

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