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Comparing Mediation and Arbitration

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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. mediation - arbitration


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.