Business contracts commonly contain mandatory mediation or arbitration clauses. Courts also routinely require parties in a lawsuit to mediate the dispute prior to trial. Even if mediation or arbitration is not required, mediation and arbitration may be preferable to litigation.
Mediation and arbitration differ in several key ways. First, mediation is usually much less formal and time-consuming than arbitration. It’s also usually significantly less expensive. Mediation is also non-binding, that is, it is not enforceable unless all parties agree to all terms and get a court to approve their agreement.
Arbitration is typically more formal than mediation and may include discovery, presentation of evidence and testimony and formal briefing. The arbitrator may also prepare a written opinion of facts and findings as part of his or her decision. More importantly, unlike mediation, arbitration is binding on all parties whether they like the outcome or not.
Call Denver Business Lawyers at 303-502-9600 to determine whether mediation, arbitration or another form of alternative dispute resolution is a viable alternative to litigation.