In arbitration, the parties prepare their cases like they would for a trial. Like a judge, an arbitrator looks at evidence, listens to testimony and makes a decision. At the outset, the parties commit to the process and cannot change their mind later. The arbitrator’s decision is final and binding on all parties, and there is no appeal. Arbitration brings disputes, often commercial disputes, to an end quickly and often more efficiently than going to trial in a court.
In mediation, the parties work with the mediator, as a neutral, to find a solution that benefits them both. The mediator has no power to force or compel either side to a resolution. The process is voluntary and a good mediator guides all sides to common ground. Sometimes mediators propose solutions that the parties hadn’t previously considered. Any party can withdraw at any time. The parties make the final decision together.
Mediation and arbitration have important variances. These variances need to be kept in mind when choosing how to proceed. Consult a lawyer to determine what legal action is right for your matter.
Aiken Schenk has a team of skilled attorneys available to help with your legal needs. Our arbitrators and mediators have the experience and knowledge resolve difficult, complex matters.