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Arbitration vs Mediation: What's the Difference?

Monday, March, 21, 2011

Arbitration and mediation are two processes that happen regularly in the legal world and they are both forms of dispute resolution. The arbitration vs mediation debate is one that rages on, as people wonder what the best way to work out a dispute is. There are many differences between arbitration and mediation, though. Arbitration vs mediation is all about the formality of the proceedings, the purpose of the events, and the enforceability of decisions made there.

Mediation attorneys typically sit down with two sides and try to hammer out a deal before it has to reach the court level. The proceedings are generally quite informal, as these attorneys try to make it as comfortable as possible. Arbitration, on the other hand, is more formal and can be like a court proceeding in many cases. The arbitration professional listens to both sides and then makes a ruling on what he (or a panel) feels is the most fair. Arbitration is essentially another form of trial with two sides presenting. Mediation is a form of resolution dispute, with two sides trying to come together on a deal that makes sense.

Arbitration decisions are generally enforced by the courts, while mediation agreements are typically things that have to be acted upon further. Each has its role, and any good mediation attorney will tell you that it's cheaper and wiser to figure out a problem through mediation first. Contacting a good mediation attorney in your area is always a good idea if you have questions on the process. You can also educate yourself further by continuing to read articles on this site.