Expert Determination

“Expert determination is a form of dispute resolution in which the parties use a subject-matter expert, rather than a judge, mediator, or arbitrator with legal training, to decide the dispute. It may be the least known form of alternative dispute resolution. In fact, it’s been called the “secret alternative to arbitration.” While the term “expert” may call to mind the concept of an expert witness, expert determination actually has its roots in the English common law of “valuation” or “appraisement.” Perhaps because we do not generally use the word “expert” to describe the decision maker, the concept of a person without legal training acting as the ultimate decider of law and fact may be most familiar in the form of an agreement to resolve a dispute over value through an appraiser or panel of appraisers.”

Resolving Disputes by Expert Determination: What Happens When Parties Select Appraisers, Accountants, or Other Technical Experts to Decide Disputes