What Does a Mediator Do?
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What Does a Mediator Do?

Mediation is a lot less traditional than going to court, but the dispute resolution process will involve distinctive stages designed to lead to a mutually beneficial objective. Below is what to expect.

Pursuing a lawsuit can be expensive. Through mediation, two or more individuals can resolve a dispute privately with the assistance of an unbiased 3rd person, designated as a mediator, and avoid costly litigation.

Many mediators have training in dispute resolution, although the magnitude of a mediator’s training and experience can differ significantly—and so can the expense. For example, if you hire a retired judge as a private mediator, it could cost you a sizable hourly amount. On the other hand, a volunteer lawyer might be available using a court-backed settlement conference program or your local small claims court at no cost at all.

The Mediators Role

Contrary to a judge or an adjudicator, the mediator will not decide the result of your case. The mediator’s role is to help the disputants resolve their issues through a process that advocates each side to:

  • air conflicts
  • recognize the positives and negatives of their case
  • realize that accepting less than hoped is the characteristic of a fair settlement, and
  • agree on a reasonable solution.

The principal goal is for all parties involved to come to a solution they can accept and trust. Since the mediator has no power to dictate a decision, nothing is going to be decided unless each of the parties agree to it. The process centers on solving problems in an inexpensive manner—for instance, considering the expense of litigation instead of exposing the truth or implementing legal rules.

That’s not to say that the benefits of the case aren’t factored into the evaluation—they are. The mediator is going to evaluate the case and emphasize the negatives of each side, the point being to strike a chord the risks of faring significantly worse in the presence of a judge or jury, and that the penalization or award implemented is going to be out of the control of the parties involved.

Kinds of Issues Solved Through Mediation

Everyone is able to suggest solving an issue using mediation. Business owner-to-client disputes or other personal matters can be resolved in a couple of hours without the need to pursue a lawsuit.

When litigation has started, it’s common for courts to require some type of informal conflict resolution, like mediation or settlement, and for good reason—it works. Instances of cases ideal for mediation comprise of:

  • personal injury issues
  • small business conflicts
  • family law matters
  • real estate disputes, and
  • infringement

The period it is going to take to solve the issue is subject to the complexity of the case. Somewhat simple cases are going to resolve in half of a day. More convoluted cases are going to need a full day of mediation, with negotiations continuing following the mediation ending. If the mediation doesn’t come to a settlement, either party can file a lawsuit or proceed pursuing the present case.


  1. Cara O’Neill, A. (2019, June 24). Mediation: The Six stages. www.nolo.com. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/mediation-six-stages-30252.html.

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