Mediation, also known as alternative and dispute resolution (ADR), is a confidential and voluntary process that many people choose to resolve legal disputes outside the courtroom. Due to the increasing cost of lawyers, litigation processes, strikes or other disruptions, dispute resolutions are now increasing significantly.
Mediators, more known as arbitrators and conciliators, facilitate the ADR process to help people resolve difficult issues and settle an agreement. All parties involved in mediation propose their own solutions but the mediator does not have any power on decision-making over the result.
What are the duties and responsibilities of a mediator?
A mediator assists the parties in negotiating and resolving their dispute. The duties of a mediator start even before the actual mediation conference commences. He decides where the mediation conference will take place, whether to mediate in one or more meetings and what to do between meetings. He also determines whether to form a caucus, to give assignments to the disputing parties, to help participants to be more effective personally, to assist in developing alternatives, to make use of the internet, to recommend useful resource information, etc.
Specific duties of a mediator may include:
Other secondary duties of a mediator may also involve:
What are the requirements to become a mediator?
A lot of mediators are private lawyers and former judges, although mediators from other fields and backgrounds are entering the profession. Mediators do not have formal licensing or certification process required.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, training for mediators is available through national and local mediation membership organizations, independent mediation programs, and postsecondary schools. Some colleges and universities are now starting to offer advanced courses in dispute resolution and conflict management.
Individuals who want to become mediators must have excellent communication, analytical, problem-solving, negotiation, and resolution skills. They must also be able to exercise good judgment and discretion and maintain confidence. They must also have people skills to work with others and promote effective working relationships with clients, courts, judicial staff, community agencies, and the general public.
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How much does a mediator earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the mediators earn from $28,090 to $102,202 each year. The median annual wage is approximately $49,490 or $23.80 per hour.
Most mediators are employed by the state and local government, legal service providers, schools and universities, private corporations, and insurance carriers.
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