What to Look for in a Mediation Professional
Mediation is a highly effective option for resolving a wide range of disputes, from divorce and family law matters to business disagreements and personal injury cases. Your success with mediation depends upon your willingness to compromise and reach agreement, but another factor to ensure a positive outcome is choosing the right mediator. It’s true that mediation professionals must have the proper credentials in Florida, but there’s more to finding the right person than just a license. Here are a few things to consider as you’re looking for the best fit for your mediation needs.
Knowledge of Legal Issues
A mediator should have an extensive background in the area of Florida law that applies to your case. Even though the proceedings don’t take place in a courtroom, the mediation professional should have the background necessary to tell you how a judge would view your respective positions. By doing so, he or she can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, which gives you a better idea of the risk involved if you do go to trial on the matter.
Ability to Educate
A mediator who is able to educate on the various aspects of the dispute puts all of the parties in a better position to make informed decisions. For instance, the mediator may be able to tell you why certain evidence wouldn’t be allowed in court. Without a legal background, you may not be familiar with procedural and evidentiary rules that can make or break your case.
It’s common for parties involved in a dispute to reach an impasse that prevents them from moving forward. The best mediators are problem solvers that take a neutral position in disputes, especially in areas where the parties are unable to be productive in discussions. Certain sticking points can result in the mediation process breaking down, but an effective mediator with troubleshooting skills can help parties see the opposing point of view and guide them back to more useful communications.
Dedication to Mediation Practice
People with the right qualifications can apply and become licensed as a mediator in Florida. However, not all of these professionals will dedicate 100 percent of their practice to mediation proceedings. When reviewing mediation candidates, it’s important to determine whether the individual is committed to mediation as an effective alternative to litigation – or simply handles mediation as a side offering to their primary business. A dedicated mediator brings depth of knowledge and experience to the table.
Many parties turn to mediation as a way to resolve their disputes out of court, but not all mediation professionals are the same. You need to do your homework to find the right mediator, by looking at the person’s knowledge, background, and ability to help parties overcome differences to reach compromise. Feldman Mediation & Arbitration Services is a firm that’s entirely dedicated to mediation practice, with more than 20 years of experience in handling mediation proceedings. For more information on mediation or to schedule a consultation, please contact our Tampa office.