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What You Need to Know About Online Mediation

Mediation is a highly effective form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It is solution-oriented; focused on helping the parties reach a mutually agreed upon settlement of their disagreement. Many courts recognize the benefits of mediation and require parties to a business or consumer dispute to go through mediation before pursuing their claim in litigation. However, parties don’t need to wait for a court to require mediation. They can pursue it on their own, knowing that if it doesn’t work out (although 80% of cases settle), they are free to pursue their claim in court.

Mediation vs Arbitration

Mediation is a form of ADR in which a neutral third party (the mediator) works with the parties to actively find a solution that both sides agree to. It is strictly a settlement-oriented process where no one is forced into a settlement or any decision made by the mediator. The mediator acts as a facilitator and uses the power of persuasion to assist the parties in arriving at a mutually agreeable compromise.

Arbitrationis a type of alternative dispute resolution that involves the submission of a dispute to a third-party neutral (known as the arbitrator) for binding resolution. It is an adjudicative process, which results in a decision subject to limited judicial review of the outcome.

Mediators have a lot of flexibility to craft creative settlements that gives both parties something meaningful. In this way, both sides can win. An arbitrator’s power is in the ability to make a decision when the parties can’t come to an agreement, whereas a Mediator’s chief power is persuasion.

Both types of ADR have the advantages of reduced costs, faster resolution, privacy, confidentiality, and informality when compared to litigation.

Benefits of Online Mediation

Online mediation has all the advantages of traditional in-person mediation, but with added benefits resulting from operating in a virtual environment. Some of these include:

  1. Ease of use. Online ADR allows anyone to participate in mediation without formal training or legal representation.
  2. 24/7 access. Parties can upload documents from virtually any desktop or mobile device to a cloud-based service.
  3. Reduced time and money. Parties can save as much as 80 percent of the costs of traditional litigation in as little as 20 percent of the time.
  4. Convenience.Mediations are scheduled for the convenience of the participants which means no travel and simpler coordination of the parties.

Online Mediation Rules and Regulations

Anytime you anticipate working with an ADR provider, it is important to understand their processes. There should be written rules governing conduct of mediators, mediation procedures, confidentiality and privacy, termination of mediation and costs and fees. For example, see ARS’ Mediation Rules and Regulations.

To view ARS’ online mediation in action, see a video of a mock mediation.

Online mediation provides parties with a cost-effective and flexible method for resolving their dispute. ARS provides the only complete end-to-end online ADR process for both mediation and arbitration. Contact ARS to learn more about the benefits of online ADR.

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