The Mediator’s Role

Written by Thomas Harper,


Choosing the correct mediator is crucial to a successful mediation. Select a mediator who (a) brings value to the process, especially someone with experience in the subject matter of the case; (b) the parties will respect and to whom they will listen; and (c) can give you feedback on your cases. You want someone who will give you meaningful commentary on your strengths and weaknesses.

It is important to know what the mediator is not:


Not a judge, not a jury: they have no power to compel any activity or result;

Not a legal advisor;

Not a clairvoyant who predicts jury verdicts; and

Not a mere message taker-as to amount or silly contentions.


There are two basic approaches by mediators: the Facilitative and the Evaluative. In a simplistic sense, Evaluative Mediators provide more opinions and insights. Evaluative mediators will assume that you want their opinions on the merits and they will be free to give those opinions to you.


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