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The term “adjudicate” means to make a judicial determination on an issue. Adjudication is the process by which a judge or arbiter will review evidence and arguments from you or your lawyer and make a decision about a legal issue. When you file a civil case, you are requesting that a judge or jury make a decision, or adjudicate, on your case.


Adjudicate is from the Latin verb adjudicare, which means “to judge.” Broadly, it’s a way to settle disputes. That also means that the concept extends to more than just traditional trials in front of a judge or jury. Other types of adjudication include:

  • Arbitration: This process is a less formal type of adjudication that involves an arbitrator rather than a judge. You present your evidence and testimony to a neutral third party, and then that third party makes a decision regarding your lawsuit.  There are far fewer formal rules in this type of process, and there is no jury involved.
  • Private judging. Similar to a formal trial, there is a third-person who agrees to be a private judge to decide the issue. This process is much more private and confidential compared to traditional litigation.  The third-party often has experience and expertise in the specific dispute.

How Does the Type of Adjudication Impact My Right to Appeal?

Adjudication by these more informal methods may or may not cut off your right to appeal the decision of the third party. The resolution also may not be finally binding on the parties, either.

You’ll note that mediation or informal settlement is not considered a type of adjudication, even though it may involve a third party. That is because the third party involved in those situations may help get the parties to a settlement, but they don’t actually decide any issues.

Which Form of Adjudication is Best for Personal Injury Cases?

These alternate forms of adjudication are rarely used in personal injury cases because accident victims often get more benefit from telling their story to a jury—and juries are not permitted in these more informal alternative dispute resolution types. But, in some cases, you may be required to use these methods because a contract or agreement that you signed requires it.

How Do I Know What Type of Adjudication I Should Use?

The best way to determine what type of adjudication will work best for you is to talk to an experienced Texas personal injury attorney. At Pusch & Nguyen Injury Lawyers, we always consider your options for informal dispute resolution, including other types of adjudication, before we start a lawsuit on your behalf. Learn more about this process by contacting our team. Request a free consultation below or call us at 713-524-8139 today.