What is the Difference between Arbitration and Mediation in Pennsylvania

Arbitration and Mediation Lawyer
Date: November 13, 2020
Posted In: Attorneys | DLP Law | Press

During this time of COVID-19, many people in Pennsylvania who have pending personal injury claims may hear their lawyers tossing around the phrases: Arbitration or Mediation.  Although our courts are working their hardest to get cases in front of Juries once more, the virus is wreaking havoc on the Jury system.  Hence, in order to keep cases moving, lawyers are turning to Arbitrations and Mediations.

How Are Disputes Resolved In The Arbitration Process?

An Arbitration is where the lawyers on both sides agree upon an Arbitrator to act as the Jury.  The Arbitrator is usually a retired Judge or a member of the Bar with over 25 years of experience.  The lawyers may agree to relax the Rules of Evidence somewhat and submit expert opinions via reports.  This can be a big cost savings to a client.  The case will be presented to the Arbitrator just like a Trial with Openings, Direct Examination, Cross Examination and Closings.  The Arbitrator will then make a decision just like a Jury would.  Usually the two sides agree to accept the Arbitrator’s decision and give up their rights to Appeal any decision.  The Arbitrator’s decision brings the matter to its final conclusion. 

How Are Disputes Resolved In The Mediation Process?

A Mediation on the other hand involves both sides agreeing on a Mediator to help guide a claim towards resolution,  Like an Arbitrator, a Mediator is usually a retired Judge or a member of the Bar with over 25 years of experience.  In this process, the lawyers usually give an Opening Statement and then the parties go into “Breakout Sessions”.  The Mediator will go back and forth between the parties with offers and demands.  The Mediator’s job is to facilitate a settlement between the both sides, not to make a monetary award.  A skilled Mediator can take two sides from being very far apart and bring them together in a day.  This process too can bring a matter to its final resolution.

If you ever have any questions regarding the difference between an Arbitration or a Mediation, feel free to call me, Attorney Brian Price, at (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P. 

Brian Price
Brian has been practicing law in Northeastern Pennsylvania for the past 25 years. In 2000 he became partner in Dougherty Leventhal & Price, L.L.P. He is Board Certified in Trial Advocacy, named a Super Lawyer and sits on the Board of Governors in Philadelphia.