When a legal dispute arises, there are several avenues that the disagreeing
parties can pursue to reach a solution without seeking formal litigation.
Two of the most common options for dispute resolution outside the courtroom include
mediation and arbitration services in San Jose, CA. Understanding the differences between these two methods can help you
determine which type of resolution option is best for your case.
Legal mediation is a popular and successful alternative to litigation. Additionally, mediation
is sometimes mandated by the state before an issue can be taken to court.
Mediation is an informal process that is similar to negotiation. During
mediation, a legal mediator will meet with the parties involved in the
situation to facilitate discussion. This mediator does not judge or take
sides, but simply aims to keep the discussion focused and moving toward
a conclusion. While mediation services are completely confidential, any
solutions reached via mediation are not legally binding. If both parties
wish to stand by the decisions reached in mediation, further legal documentation
is needed. In cases where mediation is unsuccessful, the next step in
the legal process is typically a trial or court hearing.
Arbitration is a different legal solution that can still provide dispute
resolution outside a courtroom. Unlike mediation, arbitration is a formal
and legally-binding process that does not require additional steps to
hold both parties accountable to solutions agreed upon during arbitration
meetings. If you seek arbitration services, one or more legal arbitrators
will essentially take on the role of a judge. In cases where multiple
arbitrators are chosen, these arbitrators will vote to reach a final decision.
During arbitration, both parties must submit evidence supporting their
side of the case, which the arbitrators will use when determining the
best solution. Because decisions made in arbitration are legally binding,
arbitration takes the place of the trial process or is sought in cases
where one or both parties cannot reasonably discuss and reach a conclusion
through legal mediation.