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What is the difference between mediation and arbitration, and between non-binding arbitration and binding arbitration?

Mediation and arbitration are two separate and distinctly different strategies to resolve a dispute.  The role of a mediator is to provide a forum in which two parties can discuss and negotiate a settlement between themselves. The mediator does not provide a decision on the merits of the case. At the end of mediation if there is an agreement, then the agreement is prepared in writing and signed by the parties and their attorneys. The important aspect of mediation agreement which is often overlooked is that the terms of the agreement must be specific, with timelines and other criteria such that the mediation agreement can be enforced by either party. The role of an arbitrator is to listen to each sides case and to make a decision on the merits of the case. The parties must present evidence in the form of documents and witnesses to support their case. When the arbitrator makes the decision, it may be non-binding, which means the party who does not like the decision may still go to court; or, it may be binding, which means the decision is final and the right to appeal is limited.

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The Loftin Firm, P.C.

The Loftin Firm, P.C.
5760 Fleet Street
Suite 110
Carlsbad, California 92008-4713

Toll Free: 866-933-2340
Phone: 760-814-9649
Fax: 760-431-2003
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