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Image of a business woman by scales of justice.Arbitration is similar to a trial but less formal. There is no jury. The parties select the arbitrator, who hears the evidence and decides the case. Unless otherwise agreed, the arbitrator will work for $125 per hour pursuant to the court's arbitrator compensation schedule. The parties are responsible for paying the arbitrator's fee and have to pay a portion of the overall cost before meeting with the arbitrator. The arbitrator makes findings and issues a binding award. A party can appeal an arbitration award and have the case decided by a judge or jury at a trial, but may be responsible for additional costs if the party does not do better on appeal. The arbitration process and appeal rights may be different if the parties have a contract that requires them to submit their dispute to arbitration.

The court has an arbitration program pursuant to ORS 36.400 for the following cases:

  • Civil actions claiming less than $50,000 in money or damages, and
  • Domestic relations suits where the only issue is how to divide or dispose of property.

The court has three arbitration panels as follows:


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