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20. Mediation

Mediation is an even less formal alternative to litigation. Mediators are individuals trained in negotiations who bring opposing parties together and attempt to work out a settlement or agreement that both parties accept or reject. Mediation is used for a wide gamut of case-types: ranging from juvenile felonies to Federal government negotiations with Native American Indian tribes.

In mediation, a neutral negotiator helps both sides negotiate a settlement. Typically, the mediator meets with each side separately until both sides agree to a settlement. Mediated settlements are usually less costly than settlements resulting from litigation. Unlike arbitration, mediation is non-binding; neither side has the power of the courts to enforce the settlement.

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