How to choose the right mediator

No matter the reason for going to mediation; it’s important to have a mediator who is right for your case.  Often, the judge will require mediation before allowing a case to proceed to trial. Sometimes the parties will attempt an early mediation in an effort to avoid significant litigation expense.  Occasionally, parties may wish to mediate for reason other than attempting to resolve the case.

For instance, the parties may wish to mediate to learn more about the strength and weakness of the other side’s case. One party may wish to mediate in order to demonstrate how strong their case is. Or a party may wish to mediate to determine if a settlement is possible in the future, even if not immediately available during the first mediation conference.

Whether you wish to mediate to capture a settlement or to explore the case in more detail, you should be sure and pick a mediator who is right for the case.

In fact, the Florida Supreme Court certifies mediators as Civil, County, Family, Dependency or Appellate Mediators. Be sure your mediator satisfies all the legal requirements and is certified for your type of case. You can easily check the mediator’s credentials at Flcourts.org .

You’ll also want a mediator to be a subject matter expert in the areas of law raised by your dispute. Knowing the law allows the mediator to understand the case and guide the parties to a fair settlement.  For instance, if your dispute involves an insurance policy coverage issue, or a claim that arises out of an insurance claim, you need a mediator who has experience with hundreds of different insurance policies and applied policy language to thousands of different factual situation. If your case involves a dispute between a condominium association and the developer, you don’t want a mediator whose legal career was focused on automobile crash cases.

In addition, you’ll want a mediator who is an expert and experienced with many diverse cultures and individuals. This allows the mediator to understand and appreciate many alternative points of view and to be sensitive to different cultural backgrounds. Don’t miss a reasonable settlement opportunity because your case needed a cultural translator but nobody recognized or knew how the bridge the cultural gap.

The best mediators will help you settle your case, show off the strengths of your case, minimize its weakness and help you learn about the other’s side’s case.

Feel free to contact me if you would like more information on mediation services.