When it comes to a legal dispute, you may hesitate to take your cause all the way to a judge. Going to court is often intimidating, and allowing a judge to decide your fate may not appeal to you. In many civil and non-criminal cases, you may have the option to attend mediation or arbitration instead of going to court. Learn how they work and the key differences between them.
How Do Mediation and Arbitration Work?
Getting closure in a case may involve getting a third-party involved. The ultimate finder of fact is a judge. The parties present cases, and a judge takes the testimony and evidence into account to make a final decision. However, alternatives exist in the form of mediation and arbitration. Both of these processes are less formal and allow the parties to negotiate in real-time to resolve disputes. Neither of these avenues can be used in criminal proceedings. Mediators and arbitrators are often attorneys, such as a mediation attorney Fairfax VA.
What Is Different About Them?
The main difference between mediation and arbitration is the person in charge and the final outcome. In an arbitration, the attorney who acts as the judge is chosen at random, usually by the court. In a mediation, the parties get to mutually agree on a mediator. The role of the arbitrator is a bit different as well. This person acts more like a judge in a much more informal setting. The parties present cases, and the arbitrator decides the outcome. By contrast, a mediator tries to get the parties to compromise and then helps to memorialize whatever agreement they reach. A mediation may end with no agreement.
Both arbitration and mediation save all those involved time and money. Some courts require the parties to try either mediation or arbitration before proceeding into court.