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Mediation and Arbitration Information
The vast majority of legal cases settle. Sometimes these settlements are informal and other cases are resolved through formal or court-ordered mediation. Mediation can be helpful in resolving some, if not all of the issues in the case, or in focusing the issues for a later trial even if a final settlement is not reached at the mediation. A mediation is a conference which is led by an educated neutral person, oftentimes this person is a lawyer with no other connection to the case. Settlements at mediation are voluntary and parties are not compelled to settle a case at mediation. Proper preparation for the mediation and the willingness to litigate a case to trial and beyond, if necessary, are keys to better outcomes at mediation.
Arbitration is a procedure through which a trained and certified arbitrator makes a final and binding decision in a case. There is the possibility of objecting to arbitration or appealing the arbitrator’s decision. However, clients should understand that arbitration is binding, unlike mediation which is not binding unless a settlement is reached. It is important to fully prepare for arbitration as you would for a trial before a Judge.