excerpted from BASIC SKILLS FOR THE NEW MEDIATOR
by Allan H. Goodman
© Allan H.
Goodman All Rights Reserved
probably the least understood method of alternative dispute resolution.
It is often confused with arbitration, and many people use the terms
arbitration and mediation interchangeably. The mediation process allows
the parties to a dispute to select a neutral individual, known as the
mediator, to aid them in reaching settlement. The mediator does not
decide a winner or loser, but facilitates discussions between the
litigation and arbitration, mediation is faster and less costly. When
mediation is used effectively, even the most difficult issues can be
resolved to the satisfaction of the parties, without the time, expense,
and emotional toll exacted by other means of dispute resolution. I
derive a great deal of satisfaction from acting as a mediator. The
mediator may communicate directly and confidentially with the parties,
and work together with them to seek a solution. The non-adversarial
nature of the process and the parties' willingness to resolve the
dispute creates an environment which often leads to a settlement that
is satisfactory to all.
I am amazed at
the swiftness of mediation and the magnitude of the disputes that are
settled. The parties are also surprised at the effectiveness of the
process. The extent to which they may have compromised their claims in
order to achieve settlement is often justified by the savings in legal
fees and other costs which would have been incurred if other methods of
dispute resolution had been used.
suggests answers to one hundred questions a new mediator might ask
concerning the mediation process. The answers are based upon my
experience as a mediator, and are solely my opinions. Please note that
Question No. 101 is your question to ask me. I invite the reader to ask
me any question that I have not addressed. I also welcome other
suggestions or comments.