Court-annexed arbitration is a court-run dispute resolution process to which cases that meet some specified criteria are involuntarily assigned. Arbitrators hear the case and render awards that are not binding, however, as a litigant may always request a trial. In the last decade, court-annexed arbitration has gained popularity as a means of handling small civil cases. Using in-depth analysis of arbitration in several courts, and survey results from a remaining group of courts, this report summarizes the variety of program design alternatives, assesses the probable implications of choosing one set of alternatives over another, and discusses methods that courts adopting arbitration might use to evaluate its effectiveness.
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