In earlier posts, we discussed the best time to mediate different types of employment or ERISA matters. Although some disagree, selecting a mediator to facilitate a settlement based on a meeting of the minds may be the most important part of the mediation process. Even though mediation is a party-driven process, the mediator’s knowledge, skill, experience, style and ability to handle the type of individuals involved in the dispute has a substantial impact on the resolution of the dispute. With apologies to Kyra Sedgwick, the goal is to find The Closer.
In most private mediations, the parties and their counsel select the mediator, and bear the burden of selecting an appropriate person to mediate the dispute. In making a selection, there are a number of issues the parties may want to consider.