How does mediation differ from litigation and arbitration?
Decisions are made by the parties. The goal is not to determine which party is right or
wrong, but rather to explore whether their dispute can be resolved in a mutually
acceptable agreement, thereby providing closure. Disputes can be settled promptly
and agreements may be binding.
The arbitrator decides the outcome. In most cases, the decision is binding so the parties must accept it, whether they agree with it or not. Evidence is presented and testimony is given. The cost is generally more than mediation but less than litigation.
The judge or jury makes the decision. There are winners and losers. The process is controlled by attorneys and judges and formal rules of evidence apply. The cost can be substantial and the proceedings are public. The case can take many years.