Mandatory arbitration

A statutory provision which allows a party who has filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Washington to waive all claims for damages in excess of $50,000.00 and submit their case to an arbitration  hearing rather than proceeding to trial.  The arbitrator will render a decision that resolves the issues of fact, law, and damages as would a judge and/or jury in a trial.  If either party is not satisfied with the arbitration award they can appeal the award which then requires a trial be held as if the arbitration hearing had never happened.  The risk to the appealing party is that if it does not obtain a better result at trial, it must pay the costs and attorney fees of the other party.  Not all counties have mandatory arbitration.