What Is The Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration?

If you are in the midst of a legal dispute, there is no question that you are looking for the best way to find a resolution. Legal battles can be expensive, lengthy, and time-consuming. They can uproot your life and create challenges that don’t have to be there. 
So what can you do to resolve your dispute in a timely and effective manner? Many people turn to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like mediation and arbitration. These terms are often confused, but they are very different ADR processes. Mediation and arbitration are commonly used to resolve disputes related to:

  • Real estate
  • Employment contracts
  • Landlord/tenant contracts
  • Divorce
  • Child custody or support
  • Labor union disputes
  • Business disputes
  • Partnership disputes

ADR is a favorable choice to a formal trial in cases where there is no legal issue or element of criminal activity. Let’s take a look at each of the processes.


Mediation is a dispute resolution process through which each party has the opportunity to present their side of the story and determine if a settlement is possible. Mediation is facilitated by a mediator, who is an objective party who can help facilitate decision-making. The mediator does not have the power input or judge the case but is there to support a successful resolution. 
A skilled mediator is someone who can encourage both parties to reach an agreement in a way that will be favorable to each. The decision made during mediation is written out in a settlement agreement that is signed by both parties. The mediator cannot force a settlement. If through mediation, the parties cannot reach a settlement, then the case may proceed to arbitration. 
There are several advantages to choosing mediation over other dispute resolution methods. These include:

  • Confidentiality
  • Less expensive
  • Faster resolution
  • Party-based decision
  • Direct communication


Arbitration is similar to mediation in that it is a less formal process than a trial. It is facilitated by an objective third party who acts as a “judge.” The arbitrator will listen to both sides of the dispute, review evidence, and make a decision. This decision is equivalent to a judgment made in court. One important thing to note about arbitration is that an arbitration decision is final and is not subject to appeal or reversal in the same way that a judge or jury decision might be. 
The advantages of arbitration over other dispute resolution methods are similar to mediation, but there are some unique advantages. The advantages of arbitration include:

  • Confidentiality
  • Less expensive
  • Faster resolution
  • Fairness
  • Finality
  • Simplified procedures

Of course, the best way to determine which ADR process might be right for your legal dispute is to contact an attorney to discuss your case. 

Contact A Dispute Resolution Attorney

Every legal dispute is different, which is why there is no easy answer to which dispute resolution method is right for you. At The Embry Law Firm, we can help you decide what your best options are for dispute resolution. Through a careful review of your case, we can make recommendations about ADR versus a trial, and what the pros and cons are of each. 
What’s more, at The Embry Law Firm, our dispute resolution attorney is an experienced mediator. We know how ADR processes work, and how to help you resolve a dispute in the best way possible. To find out how we can help you, call us today at 1-844-443-6279.   


Navrajvir Singh
Navrajvir Singhhttp://www.raletta.in
Entrepreneur. Strategist. Think Tank.

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