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Potential mediators may be found through recommendations of friends, professionals, mediation/ arbitration organizations or referral services. To get the best results, it is helpful to carefully think through the following types of questions before choosing a mediator.

  1. Does the mediator have any formal training or certification, and what mediation experience does he have?*
    *David's certifications and experience*

  2. Is the mediator familiar with the subject matter of your dispute and has he handled cases similar to yours either as a mediator or as an advocate? Is the mediator familiar with the law related to your dispute? If a court case has been started or may be started, can the mediator explain how a court might handle the case?
    *David's legal background*

  3. Is the mediator a professional in that he is insured and belongs to a local, regional, national or international mediation organization?
    *David's professional affiliations*

  4. What type of mediation do you want and does the mediator have the knowledge, skills and training to provide it? Not all mediators are trained or skilled at all three types.

    a. Evaluative mediation is where the mediator uses his expertise to provide opinions to the parties regarding the relative strength and weaknesses of the parties’ positions and makes suggestions to move the negotiation along.
    b. Facilitative mediation is where the mediator does not provide opinions on the various issues in the dispute, but does use his training and expertise to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. The mediator allows the parties to come up with their own ideas and formula for resolution.
    c. Restorative or Peace Making mediation is where the parties need to have a continuing close relationship after the dispute is over and the agreement of the parties needs to resolve the issues in a manner that allows the parties to maintain that relationship.

  5. What does the mediator see as the ultimate goal in your mediation? What do you see as the ultimate goal? Is there any disconnect between these views?

  6. How does the mediator communicate and deal with the emotional aspects of mediation?

  7. Does the mediator impress you as capable in terms of organizing and analyzing information and facilitating communication between parties?

  8. Do the parties and the mediator meet together, separately or both?

  9. Are you confident that the mediator will remain neutral, treat both parties with equal fairness and respect, and keep all information confidential?

  10. What kind of outcome are you hoping for in your mediation? What happens if the parties can’t reach an agreement?

  11. How much and how does the mediator charge?
    *David's fee schedule*

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man.

~Abraham Lincoln

HOME   •   David M. Wells, J.D.  •   231/828-5297