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What differentiates mediation from arbitration?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2020 | Business Law

Texas business owners like you have a lot to balance. Unfortunately, sometimes arguments between business partners are inevitable. This adds to your workload. It can create unnecessary stress, too. 

But if you get into a dispute, you need to consider your options carefully. You do not need to immediately leap to litigation. There are other possibilities for you to explore, too. 

Arbitration vs. mediation vs. litigation 

FINRA looks at an overview of comparison points between arbitration and mediation. These are two alternate options to litigation. Litigation is often time consuming and expensive. It also burns bridges. This is one of the things you want to avoid as a business owner. You do not know which business relationships will benefit you most in the future. To that end, it is best to preserve as many as possible. 

How arbitration and mediation differ 

But arbitration and mediation still differ from each other. First, mediation involves a mediator. This person listens to all parties involved. They give their opinions on the matter at hand. They may also suggest potential solutions. Another job is to defuse the situation if people start to argue and it gets out of hand. But the mediator can only make suggestions. You do not need to follow any of them. 

Arbitration differs in that an arbitrator does make a decision. Like a mediator, they listen to all sides present their part of the argument. From the information they gather, they decide what the best course of action would be. They hand this ruling down to the other parties. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. You must decide what suits your situation best.