What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?
The difference is in who resolves the conflict. In arbitration, the parties (usually through their attorneys) present their case to a third party neutral (the arbitrator) who renders a decision in much the same way as a judge would in more formal court proceedings. The parties agree in advance whether the decision of the arbitrator will be final (“binding arbitration’) or whether there is an option for either or both parties to reject the decision. In mediation, the third party neutral (the mediator) does not make the decision. The conflict is resolved only through the voluntary agreement of the parties, with assistance from their attorneys and from the mediator.