Mediation is a negotiation process facilitated by a neutral third-party, who attempts to bring the parties to a mutual agreement or settlement on the matters in dispute. If the parties cannot agree, the dispute continues. Conversely, arbitration is an alternative dispute mechanism to the judicial court system, in which the parties agree to resolve their claims against each other before a single arbitrator, or in some cases an arbitral panel, for a determination on the merits. Unlike the court system, there is typically a limitation on the discovery devices that may be used in arbitration. The final hearing is much more informal than a trial, and the ability to appeal a final decision is significantly restricted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) as well as by state arbitration codes.
It is becoming more commonplace for commercial contracts to include provisions for mandatory arbitration instead of litigation through the court system. And for those cases pending in the courts, often times Judges will order the parties to mediation prior to a trial on the merits.
Our firm is experienced in the mediation process, and has arbitrated matters in many different tribunals, including the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and securities claims before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
For more information or to arrange a consultation, send us an e-mail or call us at (404) 888-3772.