Arbitration and Mediation Explained


What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a method by which disputes can be settled out of court. A panel of one or more arbitrators (who must be neutral to the dispute) hears both sides, and then an objective judgement is reached.

How is arbitration ordered?
This may be through a variety of methods; through contractual agreement between the parties before the dispute; it may be voluntarily begun following the dispute, or it may be ordered by a court during a pending lawsuit.

What are the advantages of arbitration?

* It is useful when confidentiality is an issue.
* It is useful because the arbitrators may have expertise in the area of the dispute.
* It is faster and less expensive than using the court system.
* Parties can decide the location and date of the arbitration.
* Parties can decide the method of gathering evidence, and the use of evidence and testimonies.

What is the result of arbitration?
The resulting decision may be binding or non-binding. This is normally decided in writing between the two parties, by law, contract or court before the arbitration begins.


What is mediation?
Mediation is a process allowing the settling of a dispute between two parties, by the two parties themselves. Normally it takes place as a series of meetings between the two parties, and a mediator is present. This mediator is an impartial third person, who has no power of judgement but facilitates communication between parties in order to resolve the dispute without legal involvement and amicably.

When is mediation useful?
It is useful when two parties have a long-term relationship to maintain, as it is a method of conciliation.

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