Tri-Cities Mediation & Arbitration Lawyers

The Difference Between Mediation & Arbitration

When legal disputes arise, mediation and arbitration are both viable alternatives to those who want to avoid the lengthy and costly process of court litigation. 


Much like in a courtroom setting, arbitration involves each party submitting testimony and evidence in the presence of an arbitrator, who hears the dispute and makes a final, legally binding decision.


Unlike arbitration, mediation is a structured negotiation process in which both parties come to a mutually beneficial resolution together. The role of a mediator is not to choose a “winning” side, but rather to encourage productive discussion between the opposing parties. The agreed upon solution is reduced to writing in a legally binding agreement.

The Role of Lawyers in Mediation & Arbitration

In any contentious legal situation, having a lawyer on your side can be beneficial. However, it is not necessary that you retain a lawyer before engaging in mediation and arbitration. Mediators and arbitrators themselves often have a legal background but may not dispense legal advice to either party during the process.

Common Questions About Mediation/Arbitration

Which offers a quicker path to resolution: mediation or arbitration?

Though the length of each process can vary depending on the details of the dispute, mediation generally offers a quicker path to resolution than arbitration. Arbitration involves a trial and the arbitrator’s decision may not be immediate.


Speak With Our Attorneys

Jan R. Armstrong (Mediation and Arbitration) has over 37+ years of experience in mediation and arbitration. Ask us anything here or better yet schedule a consultation and see what we can do for you.