As alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and mediation becomes more widespread and a key resource for lawyers looking to resolve disputes short of a full-scale trial or hearing, it’s worth noting trends in the effective use of mediation.
As a mediator, I’ve noticed more parties requesting mediation before filing a lawsuit in the interest of early resolution and cost efficiency.
Another trend has been courts asking mediators to assist pro se litigants in settlement conferences and mediations. This can be particularly beneficial when a pro se litigant is unfamiliar with the court process or the controlling law on the subject matter of the litigation.
In reviewing trends in mediation, there has been much written, seminars presented, CLE programs and court initiatives created. Some key trends I have observed are as follows:
These trends in mediation are encouraging and, in my opinion, validate the use of mediation as a tool in resolving any type of dispute. In fact, with effective preparation and presentation and the use of objective and legitimate criteria, there is no dispute that isn’t capable of resolution in mediation.
Hawkins serves as a mediator and arbitrator. He is a former president of the CBA and Chair of the ADR Committee. Hawkins is a CBADR and American Arbitration Association panel mediator and arbitrator.