Choosing the right mediator = the first step toward mediation success
Finding the right mediator for your case is the first step in the mediation process and a crucial one. You want a professional mediator whose style is appropriate for the conflict and the personalities involved, and one who is experienced in the relevant practice area (e.g. family, workplace, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, healthcare).
When disputants invest time and effort to choose the right mediator for their case, the payoff is more than just securing a competent and experienced mediator – the fact that the choice is made by mutual agreement can create a collaborative atmosphere before the actual mediation even begins.
Do I need a lawyer?
In many cases, an attorney is not needed for successful mediation. A competent mediator will understand the situation from the pre-mediation statements (if such statements are used) and will know how to keep the discussions fair.
If you already have an attorney or would like to hire one, ask her to help you select a mediator. Many lawyers are mediators themselves or are very knowledgeable about mediation services available in their area of practice. Whether or not your lawyer accompanies you during the mediation should be part of the pre-mediation discussion.
You want to resolve your dispute but you don't know where to start? What to look for when selecting a mediator ?
Disputants should make a list of mediators that meet their desired criteria, then choose one that is agreeable to both parties. Consult resumes, references and other resources to get answers to the following questions:
Area of practice
How much experience does the mediator have in the practice area of your dispute (e.g. family, workplace, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, healthcare)?
How many cases has the mediator handled, and how many were successful?
Has the mediator received professional mediation training? If yes, how long was the training? Where was it received? Was the training specific to an area of practice? Does the mediator have current certification in your state (if required)?
Do you need a mediator with subject matter expertise or knowledge of a particular industry? In certain situations, specific knowledge can make the mediation process more efficient; consider carefully whether expertise in mediation or expertise in your field will better serve you.
Mediation philosophy and approach
What philosophies, approaches, and core principles does the mediator apply to their cases? Take note of how the mediator describes their process, then consider what that would look like when applied to your case.
Lawyer or non-lawyer
Does the mediator hold a law degree? Many mediators are also practicing lawyers; the question is whether or not this is helpful. If your case is legally complex, a lawyer-mediator may have a better understanding of the situation being discussed. In most cases, however, extensive knowledge of the law is not necessary for mediating a case.
Is the cost of a mediation session within your budget?
Is the mediator able to take your case within your time frame?
Finding the best mediator for you and your conflict will take time. MediatorSelect is an innovative mediator selection platform; simply search a large list of the best mediators in the country – filter by practice area, language, location, or any keyword you choose. Save your top choices to your MediatorSelect.com account; then, with just a click, securely send your suggestions to the other party for review and comment. Your first case is absolutely free, so why not begin right now?