Many people seek arbitration or mediation of disputes rather than heading to court.
A mediator is a third-person with no power to make decisions. Rather, a mediator helps both parties evaluate their goals and options with the hope of finding a resolution acceptable to everyone.
An arbitrator is a third-person with the power to make decisions. Much like a judge, the arbitrator hears both sides and then announces a decision. The decisions are sometimes binding and sometimes not.