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Definition: A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the involved parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps them agree on a settlement; mediation is generally nonbinding, unless the parties agree to a resulting settlement .

When two parties need help working out a solution, they can hire a neutral third party (a mediator) skilled in asking questions, listening and helping make decisions. The mediator can share the law in a way that allows both parties to have their day in court, vent their position and work toward a resolution, so that the relationship isn't lost over the threat of a lawsuit. Mediation is very effective in situations where there's an ongoing relationship between two companies. The result is a written agreement to settle the dispute; both parties share mediation expenses. Mediation is never final or binding.


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