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Home Buyer / Home Seller Alternative Dispute Resolution Options


Arbitration is a process, not unlike court (but much less formal), where an independent neutral person hears evidence and issues a decision, known as an “award”. This award is generally final and binding on the parties in the case. Private and confidential, it is designed for quick, practical, and economical settlements.


Mediation is a process whereby a neutral person, the mediator, assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. The mediator may offer suggestions and point out issues that the disputants may have overlooked, but resolution of the dispute rests with the disputants themselves. The mediator does not have the authority to make a binding decision, unlike arbitration, where the arbitrator renders a decision that is final and binding.


Med-Arb, as the name implies, is a blend of both mediation and arbitration. The parties agree to first attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation. If this fails to produce a settlement within a specified time period, then the matter is referred to arbitration for a final-and-binding decision by an arbitrator who, based on the agreement of the parties, may be the person who served as the mediator. 

Advisory arbitration

Advisory arbitration, in most respects mirrors traditional arbitration, described above. It differs, however, in that it focuses on specific issues in a dispute and decides them in an award that is not binding on the parties. 


Fact-finding is investigation of the dispute by a third party who examines the issues and facts in a case and then issues a report on his findings, which might or might not ecommend settlement procedures. The fact-finder’s report is nonbinding. 


Mini-tril is a structured settlement procedure in which attorneys present their best case in an abbreviated form with experts, if appropriate, before senior executives of the companies involved and a neutral who chairs the presentation. After the presentation, the senior executives meet for a settlement discussion. In the event that the senior executives are unable to settle the dispute, the neutral may be empowered to mediate and or provide a nonbinding advisory opinion regarding the likely outcome if the case were litigated.



Sources of Alternative Dispute Resolutions

The Dispute Resolution Center    

Washtenaw Office

110 N. Fourth Ave, Suite 100

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Phone: (734) 222-3745

Livingston Office

123 E. Washington Ave.

Howell, MI 48843

Phone: (517) 546-6007

Construction Arbitration Services (CAS)  


Phone: (586) 741-0870

Fax: (586) 790-4774

Dallas, TX. Office 

2777 Stemmons Freeway

Suite 1452

Dallas, TX 75207

Phone: (214) 638-2700

Fax: (214) 638-4054

Email: mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.