Neil G. Carmichael is Vice President of Education & Training for the American Arbitration Association. He has mediated a variety of disputes and conflicts over the past 25 years and served as the AAA’s Vice President of U.S. and International Mediation Services from 2005 to 2010.
THE EXTENT (OR LIMIT) OF MEDIATOR INFLUENCE TO EFFECT SETTLEMENT
Neil G. Carmichael*
I. Introduction Arbitrators are empowered with authority to decide the cases they arbitrate but mediators have no such authority in the cases they mediate. In fact, mediators must be neutral and impartial and are prohibited from favoring either side. What, then, do mediators bring to the table? What do they have that enables them to carry out their role? The answer is influence. Where arbitrators have authority, mediators have influence. This article discusses the dynamics and sources of that influence and some factors that may impede it.