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Comparing Mediation and Arbitration

  • Expedited Negotiation
  • Parties Control the Outcome
  • Mediator Has No Power To Decide & Settlement Is Only With Party Approval
  • Exchange Of Information Is Voluntary & Is Often Limited & Parties Exchange Information To Assist In Reaching a Resolution
  • Mediator Helps the Parties Define & Understand the Issues & Each Side's Interests
  • Parties Vent Feelings, Tell Story, Engage In Creative Problem-Solving
  • Process Is Informal. Parties Are Active Participants.
  • Joint & Private Meetings Between Individual Parties & Their Counsel
  • Outcome Based On Needs Of Parties
  • Result Is Mutually Satisfactory So That a Relationship May Be Maintained or Created
  • Low Cost
  • Private & Confidential


  • Adjudication
  • Arbitrators Control the Outcome
  • Arbitrator Is Given Power To Decide With a Final & Binding Decision
  • Often Extensive Discovery Is Required
  • Arbitrator Listens To Facts & Evidence & Renders an Award
  • Parties Present Case, Testify Under Oath
  • Process Is Formal. Attorneys Control Party Participation
  • Evidentiary Hearings & No Private Communication With the Arbitrator
  • Decision Based On Facts, Evidence, & Law
  • Result Is Win/Lose Award and Relationships Are Often Lost
  • More Expensive Than Mediation, But Less Expensive Than Traditional Litigation
  • Private (But Decisions Are Publicly Available)