Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation: What you should know

By Rebecca Belenky | August 1, 2022

The above YouTube video features Anton Kaminsky discussing different types of dispute resolution such as Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation. This segment is created for the everyday person who does not have a legal background.

By breaking down some of the common terms used in our office, we hope that anyone at home will be able to follow along and gain a basic understanding.

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some common differences between mediation, arbitration, and litigation
A chart view to better categorize the differences between mediation, arbitration, and litigation

Mediation – the most informal dispute resolution

Mediation is when two people involve a third person to resolve an argument. The neutral third person is called a mediator. The mediator will either help the parties reach an agreement, or make a non-binding decision. If the parties are unable to come to a resolution at mediation, they can move to arbitration or litigation.

Kaminsky Law will gladly represent you in a mediation, or act as a mediator between two parties. If you are having trouble selecting a neutral mediator, JAMS is a well known and respected alternative. For more info about the JAMS mediators that can hear your dispute in Philadelphia, PA see here.

Arbitration – a more formal method of dispute resolution

Arbitration is similar to mediation, however, it is more formal. Here, the neutral third party will typically be a lawyer or judge called an arbitrator. The arbitrator hears the dispute and makes a decision to resolve the case. Arbitration is considered more formal because it is like a mini trial and the ruling on the dispute can be final and binding, if the parties agree before the Arbitration.

Kaminsky Law has represented clients in many arbitrations and can also act as an arbitrator to resolve their disputes. An alternative to having a judge or lawyer arbitrate your dispute is the American Arbitration Association, also known as the AAA. However, AAA Arbitration is typically more expensive. For more info about the costs and rules of AAA see here.

Litigation (or a lawsuit) – Most formal type of dispute resolution

Litigation or a lawsuit is the most formal option out of the three. A lawsuit can be brought in one of many courts (more about that later) depending on the amount of money in dispute. In a lawsuit, a judge is the only appropriate neutral third party. A judge’s decision is final and binding. If there is disagreement about the decision, either party may appeal the decision to a higher court.

If you need help with filing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, Kaminsky Law is here to help! We handle all types of lawsuits, including Business Disputes, Employment Matters, Personal Injury, and much more. For all of Kaminsky Law’s practice areas see here.

Differences between Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation

It is difficult to dive into an in-depth explanation of what all these terms mean but that is why we created our segment on YouTube called “Legal Ease”. (We know it is “legalese”) If you have specific questions about either mediation, arbitration, or litigation don’t hesitate to call us at (215) 876-0800 or fill out a contact form.


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