Mediation and Arbitration are also referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution. Mediation and Arbitration can be used to assist parties reach a resolution without having to spend the time and money involved with going to court.
"There are many businesses and individuals that come to me to act as an arbitrator or mediator for a few different reasons," says Philip R. Brown, a litigation attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii. "Not only am I an experienced litigation attorney, but rising court costs and the time a lawsuit takes both make Arbitration and Mediation very attractive to people who are looking for a way to reach a resolution."
While both Arbitration and Mediation resolve issues between two or more parties outside the court, they are different in how the resolution is reached:
- Arbitration – During Arbitration, an experienced litigation attorney is appointed as the arbitrator. Then, both sides present their issues and arguments, and the neutral arbitrator makes a decision. The litigation attorney acting as the arbitrator decides on the resolution in a similar capacity to a judge. Arbitration can either be binding or non-binding. Binding Arbitration has the same result as a legal judgment, while non-binding Arbitration is used merely as an advisory opinion.
- Mediation – Mediation is another alternative to traditional litigation in the courtroom, and it is less formal than an arbitration proceeding. During Mediation, parties are able to discuss possible solutions without the confines of the litigation. With Mediation, a litigation attorney is appointed as the mediator and facilitates discussion of the problem between the two parties. After the Mediation process of discussing the issue, negotiations are made to reach a resolution, and the mediator offers their opinion about the best course of action. Unlike Arbitration, Mediation is not legally binding.
If you are looking for a way to resolve a conflict with another person or business, but would like to avoid the hassles of a drawn out legal process in the courtroom, you may want to consider Arbitration or Mediation from an experienced litigation attorney in your area.