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A mediator is a neutral third party that leads a mediation between parties as a form of alternative dispute resolution. A mediator’s goal is to encourage collaboration between the parties and guide them to a settlement through the mediation process. Generally, both parties are responsible for choosing and agreeing on the mediator. A mediator usually does not have to have a law degree, although many mediators are licensed attorneys. The mediator does not have the power to make binding decisions on the parties, but once an agreement is reached by the parties, the mediator is responsible for creating the settlement document which becomes binding and enforceable once it is signed by both parties. 

[Last updated in July of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]