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Mediation is a non-binding process and most often voluntary from the standpoint of participation by the parties involved in a dispute. It is designed to promote control by the parties themselves in the ultimate outcome of their dispute. Confidentiality of the mediation process is protected by statute (M.G.L. c. 233, sec. 23C) and the written agreement between the parties to promote settlement through the open and honest exchange of information.


Arbitration is most often a binding process which includes a hearing at which each party to the dispute, through their counsel or representative, presents to the arbitrator both evidence and oral argument to support their respective legal claims and defenses. While more informal than the trial process, an arbitration hearing typically consists of opening statements, direct and cross-examinations of witnesses, submissions of non-testimonial evidence (in exhibit form) and closing arguments by each side. A written decision or award is then rendered by the arbitrator or panel within a time period and upon the terms designated in the arbitration agreement.


Mediation is negotiation which is assisted by an impartial third party ("the mediator") who has no power or authority to impose an outcome or solution upon the dispute, but whose role is rather to facilitate the parties to a dispute in their efforts to reach an agreement or resolution.


Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution in which the parties present their case to one or more impartial third persons (the "arbitrator" or "arbitration panel") who have the power or authority to render a decision which imposes an outcome upon the controversy. Arbitration proceedings are contractual substitutes for trials and other adjudicatory processes available through the judicial system and provide a speedy and inexpensive alternative to the litigation process.

The information on this page is intended to familiarize participants with both the mediation and arbitration services offered by our company and its panel of neutrals, as well as the methods and procedures applicable to each process. We have also provided recommendations to help you maximize their efficiency and effectiveness in achieving a fair resolution to the dispute either through non-binding mediation or binding arbitration. The rules applicable to each process are contained in our Mediation Agreement, Arbitration Agreement and Mediation-Arbitration Agreement. You may request similar information relevant to the other dispute resolution services offered by LOI either on-line or through our administrative office.