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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
He has been a full-time major league umpire since the start of the 2009 season and umpired his first MLB game in 2000.
Johnson, 34, has umpired professionally since 1998 and has been assigned to Major League Spring Training games since 2006.
"In Sydney, they had five other umpires and they were all Australian so I umpired GB v Australia for the sake of neutrality.
Connolly worked 4,451 games in the American League by the time he retired after a game on July 31, 1932, the only game he umpired that season.
The series finale, which will be played on September 15, will be umpired by Ahsan Raza and Shozab Raza, with Ahmed Shahab as the TV umpire.
The men's final will be umpired by Ian Gould and Richard Kettleborough, with Rod Tucker as third umpire and Bruce Oxenford as fourth umpire.
Forty-year-old Dharmasena made his international umpiring debut in 2009 and has since umpired in two Tests, 25 ODIs and three T20Is.
On 17 October 2007 Dar umpired in his 100th ODI (between India and Australia at Mumbai), making him the tenth umpire in the history of cricket to reach that landmark.
Illingworth has been umpiring international cricket since July 2010 and has so far umpired in four Tests, 16 One-Day Internationals and seven Twenty20 Internationals, while Reiffel, who made his international umpiring debut in January 2009, has stood in four Tests, 30 One-Day Internationals and nine Twenty20 Internationals.
He said the new Afghanistan Captain Asghar Jamal playing the 35-over match along with a number of National players, which was umpired completely by trainee-umpires was also appreciative of their turn-out, enthusiasm and zeal for learning.
But to be fair, all the guys I umpired with at international level I think were pretty much above board.
Oxenford, born on 5 March 1960 in Southport, Queensland, has already umpired in eight Tests and 39 ODIs after having made his Test debut in Pallekele in a match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies in December 2010.