What is the difference between Arbitration and Mediation?


Q: What is the difference between Arbitration and Mediation?

A: Arbitration is a process somewhat like a trial. A neutral party, the arbitrator, sits and listens to the facts and evidence presented by both sides or all sides to a dispute, considers the law, and makes a decision as to what the outcome of the dispute is going to be.

The power to decide the outcome is entirely in the hands of one person: the arbitrator. The arbitrator can take the place of judge and jury in making a decision about a conflict. The parties to the conflict can only present the facts and evidence. They do not have any choice about what the arbitrator decides. They leave the decision up to the arbitrator. Courts can use arbitrations as a way to lighten the load on the courts. Parties to a dispute can agree to arbitration, or a judge can assign a matter to arbitration. Arbitrations take place outside the courts.

Mediations also take place outside the courts, but they are not "ordered" by judges. Mediation is chosen by the parties to a dispute as a way to try to resolve it informally, through guided discussion. The mediator does not decide what is going to happen. How the dispute turns out is up to the parties, with the help of the mediator urging them, and guiding them toward settlement.

Mediation involves choices. Arbitration does not. Mediation can be creative, and can go in any direction. Arbitration goes in the direction of presenting evidence before an arbitrator, and the parties do not control what happens with the arbitrator's decision. Arbitration is usually binding if it is the result of a requirement to use arbitration, such as a contract. Mediation, on the other hand may or may not resolve a dispute. No result is forced on the parties, and no one decides how the conflict will turn out except the parties to the dispute.

Carolyn Rosenblatt is a registered nurse and attorney who has 40 years of experience. She is the author of "The Boomer's Guide to Aging Parents." Read her full biography

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I have recently moved in my auntie house . My aunt is 83 years old i have resided here since November 2011 . I live here with my two aunts and uncle younger then my 83 year old aunt and older than I. I have noticed that my younger aunt here has been taking my older aunt to the bank and been manipulating her for her money from the bank she has also been using aunties credit cards and driving her car. Now aunties car is broken. I have told the rest of the family what shes been doing and my cousin has just retained power of attorney for my 83 year old aunt but the damage has been done and seems irreversible. My wicked aunt has accumulated a credit card debt over 8,000 dollars over the last four years she'a been her. My wicked aunt will of relinquish my 83 year old aunts credit cards and anything else she has of my older.
My uncle refuses to pay any rent or bills my cousin with power of attorney has asked me to do some investigation of what we can do without sending any of them to jail...we are still family.
What we would like to do is put uncle and wicked auntie out and get the wicked auntie to give 83 year old auntie back her stuff. As I have stated we are experiencing extreme finical difficulties.
My cousin has suggested to evict both of them and asked me to write up a notice but i am unsure of this since there is no written agreement bounding uncle and auntie to pay rent . My suggestion is a restraining order on the both of them . I think that would be cheaper and that the policemen escorting them off the premises would make the wicked auntie to turnover the older aunties car keys credit cards and check.
Does anyone out there have any better ideas affordable for us that would render the best results?