Ask the Expert: The Difference between Mediation and Arbitration
Author: Pierre Sammour
The main difference between arbitration and mediation is that in arbitration the arbitrator hears evidence and makes a decision. In mediation, the process is a negotiation with the assistance of a neutral third party. The parties do not reach a resolution unless all sides agree.
Mediators do not issue orders, find fault, or make determinations. Instead, mediators help parties to reach a settlement by assisting with communications, obtaining relevant information, and developing options. Although mediation procedures may vary, the parties usually first meet together with the mediator informally to explain their views of the dispute. Often the mediator will then meet with each party separately. The mediator discusses the dispute with them and explores with each party possible ways to resolve it. It is common for the mediator to go back and forth between sides a number of times. The main focus remains on the parties as they work towards a mutually beneficial solution. Most disputes are successfully resolved and often the parties will then enter into a written settlement agreement. Many people report a higher degree of satisfaction with mediation than with arbitration or other court processes because they can control the result and be part of the resolution.
Join us for this call as Pierre Sammour takes us through the finer points of mediation that he has experienced across the years.
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