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The Difference Between Arbitration & Mediation

At May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, we encourage consideration of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).  ADR is the umbrella term to describe arbitration and mediation. Arbitration and mediation involve the use of a neutral third party to facilitate the process of resolving a dispute between opposing parties.

In simple terms, arbitration is typically a binding dispute resolution process conducted by a neutral arbitrator. The decision to arbitrate is made by the parties to a dispute, either through a contractual arbitration provision, or by agreement once a dispute arises. The role of an arbitrator is much like that of a judge. The arbitrator makes decisions based on the law and the facts presented by the parties in a motion or at a hearing. An arbitrator’s decision is generally binding and non-appealable.

Mediation, on the other hand, involves a mediator who facilitates negotiations between the opposing parties. The mediator does not render a judgment or decision.  Instead, he or she attempts to guide the parties toward a negotiated settlement. Mediation has become an integral part of the civil litigation process. Most Courts require the parties to engage in a good faith mediation proceeding as a pre-condition to scheduling and conducting a trial.

At May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, we encourage ADR when appropriate to resolve conflicts outside of court. Both arbitration and mediation are common-sense alternatives that can save you time and money. Our extensive experience in arbitration and mediation allows us to advance our clients’ interests, negotiate from a position of strength, and successfully resolve disputes involving any number of situations.

For more information about Alternative Dispute Resolution, contact us at May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie. Based on the nature of your particular case, we can walk you through your options and help you determine if either arbitration or mediation is right for you.

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