“When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?” - Benjamin Franklin
"Everything is conditional - you just can't always anticipate the conditions..." - G. House
Civil Mediation and Arbitration
Technically, if an issue is not a criminal matter then it's a civil matter. This particular catagory of mediation incompasses everything from consumer/merchant disputes to malpractice; from breach-of-contract to unfair business practices.
The ADR methods of mediation and conciliation are especially successful for resolving these matters. Mediation when the parties come together to address the issues; conciliation when the parties prefer to negotiate a resolution separately.
Both are often used to good effect; sometimes coupled with arbitration in a process called 'mediation/arbitration'. The process begins as a standard mediation, but if mediation fails, the mediator becomes an arbiter.
This process is more appropriate in civil matters where rules of evidence or jurisdiction are not in dispute.