LegalYou: Mediation and Arbitration: What You Need To Know

It’s all about the trial, right?

After all, it’s what Hollywood and television wants you to believe. Trials are dramatic. One determined side again the other, in full courtroom combat, or something. Let’s face it. You don’t see a lot of movies centered on out of court settlements. But the truth is, many court cases, especially civil cases, are handled in just that way, with both parties coming to an agreement and settling on a sum that resolves the dispute and stops the litigation, therefore avoiding a potentially drawn out and costly trial process. Which even though it makes “The Good Wife” look cool, can take a toll on regular Joe’s and Jane’s. Also, trials are a gamble, and the result is unpredictable no matter how good your case is.

When you settle however, it puts you in control of the result. And mediation also allows you to tell your side of the story without the procedural red tape of court. Now, an important part of the mediation process is naturally, the mediator.

The mediator is like a cross between Gandalf and a boxing referee, without the wizard powers or a black bow tie.

Let’s start over. A mediator assists the opposite parties in negotiating the resolution outside of court, and a mediator differs from an arbitrator. An arbitrator acts as more of a judge in the matter, without the ominous black robe of course, unless that’s just their personal style, whereas a mediator works to find points of agreement within a conflict.

Often, they will meet separately with each party and discuss the weaknesses of that party’s case in order to make them think about a compromise. Although expected to maintain neutrality and fairness in each and every case, a mediator’s approach can vary with each situation. Sometimes, they might have to be forceful. Sometimes, they might have to remain calm. Mediation and arbitration are both types of alternative dispute resolution.

These are ways that you can use to resolve a dispute outside of the court system. It can be used to resolve disputes in matters like breach of contract, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, wrongful termination, and others.

LegalYou can help you opt out of the traditional courtroom process and opt in to mediation or arbitration.

LegalYou can also help you prepare yourself for the mediation or arbitration process and improve your chances of settling out of court.

Any other questions you have regarding this or other legal matters, visit