Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which an impartial third party—the arbitrator—resolves a dispute between parties to a contract.  Arbitration is an out-of-court process that generally is faster and more cost-effective than litigation.  Arbitration differs from mediation because the neutral arbitrator has the authority to make a decision about the dispute.

The arbitration process may be either binding or non-binding.  When arbitration is binding, the decision is final, can be enforced by a court and can only be appealed on very narrow grounds.  When arbitration is non-binding, the arbitrator’s award is advisory and can be final only if accepted by the parties.

Kelly Overstreet Johnson is proud to serve as an American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitrator on the Commercial and Employment arbitration panels.

Judges and leaders in the legal and business communities with industry-specific knowledge and expertise are AAA panelists.  Arbitrators are required to adhere to Codes of Ethics developed by the AAA and the American Bar Association.

According to the AAA, “The use of arbitration to resolve a wide variety of disputes has grown extensively and forms a significant part of the system of justice on which our society relies for a fair determination of legal rights. Persons who act as arbitrators therefore undertake serious responsibilities to the public, as well as to the parties. Those responsibilities include
important ethical obligations.”

Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes
Kelly Overstreet Johnson, Attorney, Mediator and Arbitrator


Please contact my scheduling assistant, Leslie Terry, at or contact me directly at to reserve a date for your arbitration.

Given the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, I am pleased to offer online arbitration via Webex, a secure and easy-to-use meeting platform.  While most of our arbitrations and mediations are conducted online, if you need to have an in-person arbitration, please reach out to me at and we will discuss ways to safely accommodate your request.


Open the confirmation email that you receive from my office and submit the requested forms.  Before your scheduled online arbitration (and if desired), I host a very short session with counsel (and parties if desired) a day or so in advance of the arbitration to troubleshoot, answer questions and ensure that PowerPoints and other documents are easily accessible.  There is no charge for this short session.  Several key components must be in place to ensure that your online arbitration runs smoothly and remains confidential.  These are considerations such as a strong, secure Wi-Fi or Ethernet signal; adequate power supply, and a distraction-free environment.

If your setting lacks any of these important elements, please contact Leslie Terry at or (850) 340-1614 to discuss alternatives.


Most platforms offering online arbitrations are similar, and I use Webex.  It is very easy to use and provides the security features needed to ensure the confidentiality of your artibration.

To join your online arbitration, click on the link our office sends you to join the meeting. The Webex Meetings desktop app automatically downloads after starting or joining a Webex meeting from a Webex site or email invitation. Click the installation file to install it. A step-by-step guide shows you screenshots of how you quickly and easily connect. As part of our online arbitration service, personnel is immediately available via e-mail and telephone during the entirety of the arbitration to assist you with questions or technical difficulties.


Resolving a case through arbitration is usually far less costly than proceeding through litigation because the process is quicker and generally less complicated than a court proceeding.


Arbitration proceedings are generally held in private and parties can agree to keep the proceedings and terms of the final resolution confidential. Both of these safeguards can be beneficial if the subject matter of the dispute might cause embarrassment or reveal private information.


Parties who agree to arbitration generally are encouraged to work together peaceably. Arbitration often can preserve important relationships rather than the “win-lose,” divisiveness that can occur in litigation.


Elements of litigation such as the rules of evidence and procedure and discovery (interrogatories, depositions and document requests) do not apply in arbitration proceedings, making them less rigid and more easily adapted to the needs of those involved.