In Arizona, mediation is not a regulated field. Someone who cannot even spell “mediation” can hang out a shingle and begin soliciting business. Therefore, consumers need to beware. As with any other field, both training and experience are important. If you are looking for a mediator in Arizona, you want to make sure that your candidates have taken at least one 40 hour (or longer) mediation course. You also may want to see what each candidate’s experience is with your particular issue. For example, if you want to mediate an Arizona family law dispute, the mediator should have experience with the field. Otherwise, he/she may not even know what issues need to be resolved in a particular type of family law action.
So how do you find a good mediator? One option is to ask friends or family for a referral. Another option is to search on line and carefully review the mediator’s credentials. You can also ask for a consultation to meet with the mediator and get a sense of his/her style. Mediators can range in style from “touchy-feely” to authoritative. People respond to different styles.
If a mediator guarantees you success in the mediation, tries to offer you legal advice, acts biased toward one party or tells you are either going to definitely win or lose your action – then run. Those are all signs of someone unqualified to mediate.
Resolving your dispute is very important, so it is worth the time to find a qualified mediator.
Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona. If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
a Professional Limited Liability Company
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260