As a personal injury and civil case lawyer, sometimes it’s easier to come to a settlement via negotiation or arbitration rather than through a trial and legal proceeding. But what is the difference between hiring a lawyer for mediation, negotiation or arbitration?

The difference is subtle, but in a negotiation, two parties will come together to discuss an issue they are having, and reach a mutual agreement or solution to that issue. It’s been said that the best negotiations end when no one is happy. That’s how you know you’ve truly reached a compromise.

In some contracts, arbitration is required (arbitration clause). An arbitration clause is a section of a contract that deals with parties’ rights and options in the event of a legal dispute over the contract. In most arbitration clauses, the parties agree not to sue each other, and instead to resolve their disputes through arbitraiton.  In arbitration, two parties will present their cases to an objective third party. This can be a lawyer or a retired judge, and it takes place outside of a courtroom. In this case, the arbitrator is the one who makes a final decision on what is to be done, and who is in the correct standing with the law.

Mediation is a mix of both. This is a situation where a trained, neutral third party (lawyer or retired judge) will hear both sides of the issue, and then assist them to negotiate a compromise together. It may be an informal meeting among the parties or a scheduled settlement conference. The dispute may either be pending in a court or potentially a dispute which may be filed in court. The mediation conference is held at a mutually agreeable and neutral place. Generally, mediators will employ face to face negotiations. 

For a free consultation about your case, please call the Law Offices of Daniel An, PC. 

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