Mediation is a process where two or more people in disagreement meet with a mutually selected neutral and impartial third party to help settle and negotiate their differences. This is usually led by a trained professional called a mediator. A mediator helps dispute parties communicate and understand each other’s needs and concerns in a situation, identify the possible solutions to their conflict, and help reach a mutually agreeable solution. Unlike a judge, a mediator cannot make decisions for the parties involved. They cannot make suggestions about a problem or decide what is right or wrong.
When searching for legal mediation solutions in California, it is very important to conduct proper research about the mediation process to know what to expect. If you have a meeting with California legal mediation services, here are a few questions to ask your mediator, so you get the best out of the mediation process.
- What type of training do you have?
Mediators have to go through specific training before they are qualified to practice. These courses often involve at least 40 hours of training and co-mediation session with a mediator mentor. The least qualification to look for in your mediator is a general training mediation course. You should look elsewhere if they don’t have the training.
- What is your background?
Several mediators have a background in law, but a mediator is not required to be a lawyer. You can decide on the professional background you want your mediator to have, depending on the type of dispute. If you are dealing with a financial dispute, you can opt for a mediator who’s also a certified public accountant. You can also choose mediators who are social workers, psychologists, or teachers.
- How do you approach new disputes
This question is an ideal way to understand the mediator’s thought process when dealing with a new case. You can ask them what happens throughout the process and the procedures used to manage such situations.
- What style of mediation do you apply?
All mediators are not the same. Each of them has a unique personality, style, and procedures they employ when resolving disputes. Although they are to maintain neutrality, there are certain approaches applied in conflict resolution. Some mediators use the problem-solving approach, while others use the transformative approach. There are also other mediation styles like the facilitative and evaluative approaches used by many mediators.