Mediation is a form of dispute resolution, meaning: If two people or businesses have a disagreement, a mediator will help them find a resolution. Mediation is typically categorized as a form of alternative dispute resolution. As in, mediation is an alternative to using lawyers and the legal system. So, instead of suing a person or company, a mediator can help people find a mutually acceptable resolution to their problem.
Bonus: Mediation is also quicker and cheaper than the courts.
The main ways in which mediation is different from using lawyers and judges are:
Mediation is confidential. Courts are typically public.
Mediation is voluntary. Courts generally impose consequences if a party does not show up.
Mediation is all about self-determination - in other words, the parties create their own solutions. In a court, a judge decides for the parties.
Often, mediators are attorneys who recognize the fact that their unique skill set is not actually best suited to all cases. So...