Choosing a Method: Mediation, Arbitration or Trial

How mediation compares to arbitration and litigation

The agreement you have with another party will control which method you utilize.

However, if you are looking to initiate a method of resolving your dispute without a prior agreement, the process of selecting a method need not be a daunting task. You can select the process of mediation, arbitration or trial based on your values and preferences.

How mediation compares to arbitration and litigation

Mediation works well for those who:

  • Do not want someone else deciding the outcome of the dispute
  • Still want to pursue arbitration or a trial if you do not reach a resolution
  • Want a more affordable, more timely and less stressful process than an arbitration or trial
  • Want confidentiality

Arbitration works well for those who:

  • Want to enlist the expertise of a limited group of outside decision makers (one arbitrator or a panel of 3 arbitrators)
  • Prefer the decision to be final without the time and expense of a trial and/or appeal
  • Do not want to establish a precedent and want the resulting decision to apply only to this particular case
  • Are not standing up for an ideal
  • Seek a final outcome
  • Want a more affordable, more timely and less stressful process than a trial
  • Want confidentiality

Trial works well for those who:

  • Are standing up for a principle, cause or set of rights
  • Want to draw media attention
  • Want a judgment by peers (jury)
  • Seek a final outcome
  • Have the right to appeal

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