A mediator is an unbiased neutral person. The mediator can help the people involved find a solution that can often result in a 'win-win' situation, where everyone is satisfied with the result. The mediator cannot force you to settle the dispute or to accept a particular solution; but rather helps reach an outcome that works for the people involved rather than one aimed at proving right and wrong. This allows for an opportunity to work together to reach a solution.
Situations that lend themselves well to mediation are certain family disputes, business disagreements, contract issues, disputes between neighbours, sports and environmental issues, to name a few.
Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb) is a voluntary, consensual process that begins with mediation, but allows for the mediator to render a decision (arbitration) if the parties are unable to resolve their dispute during the mediation phase. This hybrid process allows for the parties to control the outcome but when there are remaining issues, the arbitrator can make a decision on behalf of the parties.
Currently we are unable to create binding decisions during the arbitration phase. However, if the parties are in agreement, a contract can still be formed.