University of Missouri School of Law
December 3, 2010
Dispute Resolution Magazine, Vol. 14, pp. 43-45, Spring/Summer 2008
University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-27
This article summarizes the findings of the Task Force on Improving Mediation Quality of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. The Task Force conducted research on the views of lawyers, parties, and mediators by using focus groups, surveys, and interviews. The Task Force used the data to inform its recommendations, recognizing that the subjects’ views are not necessarily the best indicator of mediation quality. The findings focus on the following four aspects of mediation that the research subjects said are particularly important: (1) preparation for mediation by mediators and mediation participants, (2) case-by-case customization of the mediation process, (3) careful consideration of any “analytical” assistance that mediators might provide, and (4) mediators’ persistence and patience. This article suggests several ways for mediators to continue developing their skills.