Adjudication is the legal process where a judge or arbiter reviews evidence and formal arguments set forth by opposing litigants in a legal trial. Through adjudication, the judge effectively obtains enough information and facts to offer a decision on the legal matter. Within this process, the judge must evaluate the information exchanged and latent in the legal dispute with legal reasoning. When the judge or arbiter reaches a decision through the adjudication process, the verdict rendered will determine the rights and obligations between the parties involved in the underlying legal matter.
In the United States, there are three predominant types of legal disputes that are resolved through adjudication: disputes between private parties (individuals or privately-owned corporations), disputes between private parties and public officials and disputes between public officials or public entities.
Basic Principles of Adjudication:
The term ‘adjudication’, is somewhat loaded, for it can refer to a casual type of judging, that is more common in a sporting event. In this scenario, the judges will proceed with adjudication by awarding points or certifying scores. The adjudication process can also be undertaken by a doctor; some medical professionals will require patients to agree to adjudication if they have a dispute with the medical care they received. This form of adjudication is tied-into malpractice cases; if the patient wishes to sue for malpractice, the individual will state their case in front of a judge who formally evaluate the complaint and subsequently render a decision.
The adjudication process is binding and does not include the presence of a jury. A judge or arbiter will render a decision regarding the case after being presented with all necessary evidence. As a result of this expedited delivery, adjudication is generally less expensive and faster, than other forms of judicial hearings.
Differences between Adjudication and Mediation:
A judge will use adjudication to solve disputes between corporations, between individuals and corporations, or between individuals and a government agency. Those involved in these types of disputes, who aim to receive a quick resolution to their legal issue, will seek adjudication. An individual who adjudicates over a legal matter is not classified as a mediator, even though they help two parties reach some form of resolution. In most instances, a mediator aids the parties through compromise; however, a legal adjudication is binding—what is decided is regarded as enforceable and legal.