Did You Know?:
Mediation is often thought of as the most “civil” means of third-party dispute resolution. When mediation is selected, the parties share a desire to resolve the dispute quickly and cost - effectively but know they need the help of a mediator to do so. Typically, the parties must agree to mediate and then select a mutually acceptable mediator. The mediator can be an attorney, retired judge or other professional. Generally, the parties split the cost of the mediation.
The most important point to understand about mediation is that it is non-binding. This means that the parties can choose or refuse to accept the recommendation of the mediator. Only if the parties desire to accept the mediator's decision and put it in writing in the form of a settlement agreement or related document will the mediator’s recommendation become enforceable.
Since mediation is non-binding, if the parties cannot resolve the matter at the mediation or they disagree with the mediator's recommendations, the parties can proceed with arbitration or litigation.