In mediation, a mediator, a neutral third party, tries to bring the parties together to reach a settlement. The mediator does not have the authority to decide the matter for the parties. Arbitration involves an arbitrator who is given the authority to actually make the decision and resolve the dispute between the parties. So in an arbitration, you’re going to get a result, a decision, from the arbitrator. In mediation, unless he’s successful in bringing the parties together, there could be no result.