Mediation – assisted negotiation. When two or more parties need someone to help them figure out problems they are having. In the human service field a worker can mediate between a child and the parent or a parent and a teacher. The mediator can help come up with a solution that will help the child and that both parents and teacher can agree on.
Arbitration - a conflict resolution method in which the parties select and agree on a neutral third person to resolve their dispute through an adjudicative process. Arbitrators receive oral and/or written evidence and arguments from the parties and issue a decision. The arbitrator’s decision could be binding or nonbinding, depending on prior agreement of the parties. The parties may also have input into the rules of the arbitration process. Most arbitration processes are closed to the public. For example this can be used for a custody battle after divorce; the arbitrator can help the parents come to a final decision in which both parties agree upon.
Med-arb – The practitioner first attempts to mediate a resolution; if the parties are unable to reach their own agreement, the mediator become an arbitrator and imposes a decision. The judge is the Med-arb person and is the one that makes the final decision. In the example of the custody battle the judge is the one who says who the children will live with.