Mediation is NOT arbitration

Arbitration has been getting some bad press lately. Plenty of it is deserved.

But don’t tar mediation with the same brush!!


Mediation and arbitration are both alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes using neutrals

(as we call ourselves.) But they have different approaches.


An arbitrator decides winners and losers. Most of the recent bad press is about how individuals

end up “agreeing” in a contract to be limited to arbitration, and barred from court, if a dispute arises.


In STARK contrast: a mediator (like me) does not decide winners and losers.

Most of the time people agree to mediation after the dispute has arisen, not before.

I work to help people come to an agreement that works for them.


Mediation is more challenging for the neutral than arbitration.


In my particular focus, the people involved in the dispute want to preserve ongoing relationships:

siblings, intergenerational connections, family businesses.

Even more challenging than mediation involving strangers who simply want the dispute resolved.

And this type of mediation is even more satisfying. Which is why I love what I do.





Posted in ADR: Dispute Resolution Processes, Conflict Resolution in the News, Monday, November 9th, 2015

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