HOW TO SELECT AN ATTORNEY MEDIATOR
Here you are, at an impasse – a dispute is looming and you know you will need help to find the solution. These are five questions to ask when you are searching for the right mediator. The answers will help ensure that you will find the person best suited to your situation.
- Why are you practicing mediation?
- The prospective mediator’s answer will let you know if mediation is a genuine focus of their professional development, or more of a second thought or sideline activity
- The answer will also give you insight into the mediator’s motivations – whether chiefly financial, pursuit of personal accomplishment, or a broader purpose of peace-making
- Describe your mediation experience.
- This answer will give you an idea of the types of disputes and issues this candidate has participated in resolving.
- You will also be listening for the mediator’s attitude regarding the mediation process, positive, negative or neutral
- What results in mediation have you achieved?
- This answer will give you information about how creatively this mediator has worked to resolve disputes in the past
- Of course you will also learn what types of outcomes this mediator is most proud to report
- Who is your support team and how will they effect your communication with me?
- Maybe this mediator has a staff of associates or assistants, or perhaps they are sole practitioners. You will want to know who you will be talking to, and how the organization of the mediation practice may impact scheduling and other shared information
- This is also an opportunity to find out if their communication preferences, whether by telephone, e-mail, text message or other, will “fit” with your own
- How can you help me?
- In other words, what value do you bring and what benefit can I expect from your mediation service?
- Be alert to clues that the mediator expects to solve your problem for you, instead of assisting you to arrive at a solution.