Understanding the Difference between Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation and ArbitrationThere are various ways to handle and settle a case in the American legal system. Many are familiar with the idea of going to court and undergoing a stringent litigation process that often involves evidences and a jury. Not all, however, know that there are other options that might work better for particular legal cases.

In Utah, mediation and arbitration are some of the alternative avenues to resolve disputes. These options offer parties flexible ways to discuss things and come into terms. The two, however similar as they seem to be, are different in many ways. The legal team of Drew Briney says it is important to know about the differences to determine which is better for your case.


In mediation, an impartial third party called a mediator facilitates discussions between the two parties. The mediator’s goal is to help the parties reach a satisfactory agreement. Mediators, however, cannot impose legal decisions. They are merely there to clarify any possible issues that arise and help come up with possible trade-offs that are beneficial to both parties.

Both sides have to agree to whatever settlements are presented, which is great for parties who are willing to negotiate and compromise. Mediation is also ideal for those caught in a standstill and do not want a third-party to make the final decisions.


Arbitration is like a simplified version of a court trial. An arbitrator is present to resolve the dispute without the complicated rules involved in a full-scale trial. Both parties should agree to have a neutral arbitrator to take part in their case. Keep in mind that the decision of the arbitrators is legally binding. This means that their decision, called an award, is enforceable in the court of law.

Mediation and arbitration offer great legal avenues for parties who do not want to undergo the usual litigation process. It is a good idea to know more about them so you can explore all legal options. Consult your lawyers to know which legal measure is best for your unique circumstances.

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