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A person chosen to decide a question in a controversy that has been submitted to Arbitration but has not been resolved because the arbitrators cannot reach agreement, or one who has been chosen to be a permanent arbitrator for the duration of a collective bargaining agreement.

Arbitration is the submission of a dispute to an unbiased third person designated by the parties to the controversy, who agree in advance to comply with the decision. Arbitration is quicker, less expensive, and more informal than a court proceeding. Commercial arbitration and labor arbitration are commonplace in the United States. Persons who hear these types of dispute resolution cases are called arbitrators and umpires. Umpires are used either to break an impasse in arbitration or to serve as specialized, long-term decision makers.

An arbitrator is a person selected by the parties to hear the dispute. An arbitrator must be mutually agreed upon by the parties and may be named, for example, in a labor-management Collective Bargaining agreement or may be chosen after the dispute has arisen. In labor arbitration a single arbitrator may hear a case, but frequently a three-member arbitration panel hears the dispute. The three members consist of an arbitrator selected by management, another chosen by labor, and a chairperson selected either by the parties or by the two arbitrators appointed by the parties. The arbitrators selected by the parties act like advocates, but the chairperson is expected to be neutral.

If the three-person panel cannot agree on a decision, the arbitrators may name an umpire to decide the controversy. The umpire acts independently and is vested with the sole authority to decide the issues that have been presented.

An umpire is also sometimes used in labormanagement grievance proceedings. In this situation a single, permanent umpire is appointed to resolve disputes for the term of the collective bargaining agreement. The umpire becomes familiar with the economic, financial, and dayto-day working conditions of an industry and may rely on precedents developed by previous umpires. This form of umpire system began in the anthracite coal mining industry in the early 1900s and has been used in other industries, including clothing manufacturing and newspaper printing.


Alternative Dispute Resolution; Grievance Procedure; Labor Law; Labor Union.


noun adjudicator, arbiter, arbitrator, disceptator, go-between, interagent, intercessor, intermediator, intermedium, intervenor, judge, mediator, moderator, peacemaker, reconciler, referee
See also: decide, go-between, intercede, judge, mediate, negotiate, referee, rule

UMPIRE. A person selected by two or more arbitrators. When they are authorize to do so by the submission of the parties, and they cannot agree as to the subject-matter referred to them, whose duty it is to decide the matter in dispute. Sometimes the term is applied to a single arbitrator, selected by the parties themselves. Kyd on Awards, 6, 75, 77 Caldw. on Arb. 38; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t.; 3 Vin. Ab. 93; Com. Dig. Arbitrament, F; 4 Dall. 271, 432; 4 Sco. N. S. 378; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
Wentzel said hard-hitting West Indian batsman Chris Gayle told him how he looked forward to the day when all umpires followed his lead because the West Indian cricketer was terrified by the damage a ball he nailed could do to an umpire.
If the umpire is uncertain that the delivery is legal and a wicket falls, the no ball can be checked immediately on replay and the batsman recalled if the delivery was found to be illegal.
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He stood fourth in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) umpiring course held in Qatar while qualifying as a Level Two umpire.
For the last year and a half I was not a very good cricketer and I don't want that to happen as an umpire.
Bowden has replaced Tony Hill, who had stepped down from the elite panel earlier this year to take up the role as New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Umpire Coach.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that Wynand Louw of Cricket Namibia is reappointed to the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of International Umpires for 2014 following the annual review and selection process.
Asked about the concerns over the declining standard of umpiring in the country, Dar, who twice won the ICC Umpire of the Year award, said things would not improve unless more former players don't join the profession.
However, of the 72 decisions on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena and third man Marais Erasmus had to make, the ICC pinpointed seven errors had been made during the match.
On June 14, MLB announced that Runge, 43, had been replaced by 38-year-old Chris Conroy, but did not give a reason for the change in umpire staff.
A resident of Springfield, Anderson was inducted as an umpire in the Oregon ASA Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Regional ASA Hall of Fame in 2007.