What’s the difference between arbitration and mediation?


Sometimes we deal with cases that require arbitration, and other times the case requires mediation.

What do these terms mean?

Arbitration is where your case is looked at by 1 or 3 people, and they decide by their own rules who wins or loses.

Your case isn’t tried in court, but it’s instead reviewed by an arbitrator.

The arbitrator could be a former judge, and it may be 3 arbitrators instead of 1.

Arbitration is like being in court, instead there’s no jury trial or appeal.

You present your case to the arbitrator(s), and they decide what happens in your case using their own rules, just like a judge and jury would do in court.

Whatever the arbitrator says, that’s the ruling on your case.

This is what’s called “binding” or “mandatory” arbitration.

There is a big push in the Federal government to get rid of this with consumers, because there’s a lot of abuse within this system.

Mediation is where a mediator comes in and tries to get both parties to voluntarily settle the case.

You may be ordered to go to mediation, but once you’re there, settling the case is up to the parties.

A mediator is usually an experienced lawyer or a former judge.

The mediator brings everyone together, the lawyers, the parties, and gets them to talk about the case.

The mediator usually will ask each party to make an opening statement, and then the parties will be split up into two separate rooms.

Then the mediator will go back and forth between the two rooms to try and bring them together to settle the case.

The mediator has no power to make you settle with the other side, but his job is to try and help settle the case.

Contact Us.

If you have already hired a attorney, definitely talk with them about mediation or arbitration.

But if you have any questions and you haven’t hired a lawyer, you can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.

You can also fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Have a great day.

-John G. Watts

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