Mediation is a process where the disputing parties appoint a mediator trained in the area of dispute resolution and knowledgeable in the subject matter of the dispute. Like arbitration, mediation involves choosing a third party to help resolve the dispute, but, unlike an arbitrator, a mediator does not impose a decision. The mediator facilitates the discussion to help the disputing parties arrive at a mutually agreed-upon settlement. Mediation is often chosen when the ongoing relationship between the parties is important. Lawyers can be present or consulted at any time.