What’s the difference between mediation and arbitration?
Mediation and arbitration are both forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), but they have some key differences.
Mediation is a Collaborative Path to Resolution
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps the parties to communicate and find a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. The mediator does not make decisions or give legal advice, but rather facilitates communication and helps the parties to find common ground. Mediation is voluntary and non-binding, meaning that the parties are free to accept or reject any agreements reached during mediation.
Arbitration is a Binding Decision-Making Process
Arbitration, on the other hand, is a process in which a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, hears evidence and arguments from both parties and makes a binding decision on the dispute. The arbitrator acts as a judge and makes a decision based on the evidence presented. The decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties and enforceable as a court order. The arbitration process is typically more formal and similar to a trial.
Choosing the Right Approach for Your Dispute
In summary, mediation and arbitration are both forms of alternative dispute resolution, but they have some key differences. Mediation is a non-binding process where parties work towards a mutually acceptable agreement, whereas arbitration is a binding process, where the arbitrator makes a decision. Mediation can be a less formal whereas arbitration is more formal. Both are typically held in a boardroom environment.
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