Alternative Dispute Resolution Q & A

QUESTION NO. 1
My spouse and I are having a boundary line dispute with our neighbors. Our neighbor's attorney has suggested that we go to a mediator. Will the mediator make a decision in this case after listening to all parties?

No, a mediator does not make a decision. The mediator simply tries to open lines of communication to help the parties come to an agreement that is workable for everyone involved. No resolution of the matter is made unless you agree.

QUESTION NO. 2
What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?

Simple put, the main difference is that an arbitrator makes a decision after listening to all the evidence and a mediator is simply a facilitator. A mediator tries to help the parties come to their own decision or agreement.

QUESTION NO. 3
What advantage does mediation have over the court system?

Generally, mediation is quicker than the judicial system, less expensive and allows the parties a higher degree of satisfaction if they are able to reach an agreement. Parties generally feel more positive if they are able to reach their own agreement, rather than having a judge or jury decide these matters.