Civil Litigation and the difference between Arbitration and Mediation

Author : nick jackson | Published On : 29 Apr 2021

Most of the time the courtroom environment you see on your television is a criminal litigation process. With civil litigation, the process involves fewer elements of counter argumentation and legality but is an equally important process. 

What is a Civil Litigation?

Civil litigation happens when two or more parties are involved in a legal dispute revolving around financial aspects. Also, litigation that occurs to get oneself aloof from the pressed criminal charges in civil litigation. 

Broadly, civil litigation involves non-criminal actions and involves compensation or other similar damages to the plaintiff. Majorly, the cases are solved with mutual understanding but sometimes trials for civil litigations take place in courts. Attorneys attending these cases have to be sharper as civil litigation relates more to the facts and data of the case and the presentation of the same. An attorneys’ wit maybe of lesser use here but it is crucial at someplace. 

Types and process of a Civil Litigation

Legality is one’s life that occurs at any level. Be it in your home or at your workplace, disputes and litigations are now a casual part of life. Civil litigations are of many types and natures. Depending on the element of compensation and the legal matters in it, below mentioned are some types of civil litigations.

  • Property disputes and claims
  • Malpractice cases (medical)
  • Law disputes 
  • Divorce lawsuits
  • Defamation lawsuits 
  • Work disputes
Process of a Civil Litigation

Once you are set to fight the case, consult an attorney. The attorney will decide whether your case is strong or not. After that, the official process begins.


As now you have an attorney for your case, he or she will dig in the details and facts of the case. The attorney will make sure that no facts or elements of legality are left behind. 


The plaintiff and the defendant will officially file their pleadings. These would involve the explanation of their side to the other party. 


This stage involves legal as well as documentary research from both parties. Experts and witnesses would be called for recording their statements. 

The Pre-Trial

A pre-trial is when attorneys of both parties form an argument of the case. If neither of the party comes to a solution, the process further goes to a trial. 

Difference between Arbitration and Mediation

In a civil case, disputes between parties when not solved with mutual understanding invite an arbitrator and a mediator. The major difference between arbitration and mediation is the nature of the process. An arbitrator reason the arguments keeps a note of those arguments and collects evidence. Whereas, a mediator functions as a bridge between the parties like an intermediary. 

What do mediation and arbitration involve?

A mediator gathers all the important arguments of the parties and presents a solution. This solution does not involve any legal angle in it and is made for the benefit of the parties. If the parties disagree with it, the case then tracks to the legal process with an arbitrator. 

An arbitrator records the relevant statements of the parties, collects the evidence, and gets into the legal aspect of the case. After displaying all the angles involved in the case to the parties, an arbitrator begins with the legal process. Compared to a mediator, an arbitrator does not resolve the dispute and instead, presents solutions.

Mediation or Arbitration: What to choose?

In mediation, the involvement of a third-party in the case makes it a neutral one and hence one can come up with an unbiased solution. 

Whereas, arbitration invites court trials and a more formal process than mediation. Choosing mediation or arbitration depends on the nature of the case, its longevity, and the involved parties. 


Civil litigation may take swift turns at any time. With mediation, a case is solved with mutual solutions which are acceptable to all the parties but often come at a price. Arbitration can be beneficial but involves filing motions, appeals, etc. in the room of law. To opt for an informal route of judgment or to run through the courtrooms and benefit the rule of law is up to the plaintiff.