Mediation News

03-07-2014

Mediator Selection

Who chooses, appoints and selects the mediator to resolve, mediate your dispute? At Effective Dispute Solutions we get several enquiries asking these very questions.

Several enquires ask if they can simply choose the mediator and make the other side use them and vice versa. The simple answer is yes unless the other party does not object.

Usually, all parties to any dispute must agree to the mediators appointment, it does not really matter who found the mediator, how they found them, even if they have used them before, as long as all the parties to the dispute agree to the mediators appointment.

Understandably to an extent, parties are very suspicious if a party they are in dispute with suggest a particular mediator, as they automatically assume there is some sort of bias involved.

The standard practice is for a mediator to forward their CV to the parties, parties solicitors if they are legally represented which will state their skills, experience, qualifications, accreditations and so forth, equally if you are still in doubt, speak to the mediator direct and ask for testimonials.

Any mediator should declare any potential conflict of interests, however if in doubt, ask them, just because they may have mediated for the other party, parties solicitors before that should not preclude them from mediating for you, as mediators are independent pre existing relationships should not come into question, however if you are uncomfortable to proceed, refuse and ask for, or suggest a different mediator.

Typically our enquires either ask for a particular mediator by name, as they have either used them before, or they have come recommended, or they ask for a mediator who specialises in a particular area say for example construction, whereby we usually give them the names and CVs of 3 mediators for them to agree and choose themselves.

In certain situations where parties have been unable to agree, we simply allocate them a mediator, of course they need to agree to use them, there are several ways you can go about selecting a mediator, however you should never feel compelled to use one simply because the other party states you must, at the end of the day, it is your dispute, your money, and you must feel comfortable in trusting and paying for a mediator that you are satisfied is the best person to assist you in resolving your dispute.