What’s the difference between a mediator and a judge?

Asked on September 15, 2018 under Business Law, Connecticut


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Arbitrators and judges perform different tasks. Arbitrators attempt to get both parties to talk with each other so as to move towards a mutually acceptable agreement. They handle cases in informal proceedings and allow lawyers to be present during the arbitration but their role is limited. On the other hand, judges hear cases in a courtroom following formal legal procedures and lawyers play a very important role in the litigation process. Another important difference is that in most cases, the decision of the arbitrator is binding and cannot be appealed. When a judge renders a decision, the parties may appeal it. Finally, arbitrators are also different from judges in terms of who chooses them to handle a case. The parties involved in an arbitration typically choose the arbitrator, however in the litigation process, the court appoints the judge who will handle a particular case. 

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