Role of Arbitration and Mediation in the Legal System

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Part1: Arbitration and mediation In general, arbitration is a more formal method of alternative dispute resolution than mediation. "Arbitrators generally act similar to a judge and make decisions about evidence and give written opinions, which can be binding or non-binding" (Mediation versus arbitration versus litigation, 2008, Find Law). There may be one or more arbiters selected by both sides, or a third selected by the mutual arbiter. The methods deployed are often very similar to that of a court room. In contrast, mediation "is generally conducted before a single mediator who does not judge the case but helps facilitate a discussion and eventual resolution of the dispute" (Mediation versus arbitration versus litigation, 2008, Find Law). Mediation has a high success rate, but this may be due to the fact that parties which select mediation tend to be less polarized. Both forms of ADR can be advantageous, given that they are less costly and also can keep the anger involved to a minimum. A compromise can be reached that is mutually advantageous to both sides, and 'alternative' solutions can be found that will not necessarily be allowed in a more formal jury system. Mediation and arbitration can also be embarked upon more quickly than a lawsuit, which enables the parties involved to engage in dialogue before conflicts get out of hand. And in some disputes, such as divorce, there are often many grey areas, with no clear, single person who is in the wrong or right.
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