The author is assistant vice president-law-dispute resolution, of Sprint Corp. He is on the regional advisory board to the AAA and has lectured and written extensively on the topics of litigation, arbitration and ADR. The views expressed in this paper are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sprint Corp.
The dispute resolution industry is changing rapidly. Courts are now heavily involved in mediation processes and ADR services provide an array of mediation choices. With more mediation opportunities, parties need to develop an understanding of the factors that should be considered in mediation selection. Mediation is a very personal service and the success of the mediation and the ultimate outcome of the conflict depends heavily on matching the optimal mediator to the particular dispute. More specifically, the mediator selected should have the ability to "fix" whatever is wrong with the underlying negotiations. In turn, this requires the ability to diagnose the problem which is impeding a negotiated resolution. If the general problem with the underlying negotiation can be understood, the chances of selecting an appropriate mediator are enhanced.