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Mediation Trends - What are your thoughts?

What trends do you see on the horizon in the mediation marketplace and what steps can counsel (in-house and outside), mediators, and providers undertake to best prepare for them?

Please provide your thoughts/comments below.

Comments (2)


There appear to be two contradictory trends. The first is the marketplace's preferring mediators who have subject matter experience in the area in which a dispute has risen. The second involves retired judges who are acknowledged as mediation generalists, and are acceptable to mediate a wide range of conflicts.

Kevin Callahan:

I would predict two upward trends both in the use of mediation and the specialization of mediators going forward. As more and more countries develop, the frequency of litigation will naturally increase. It follows that the use of mediation will similarly increase as parties seek to avoid the expense of litigation. This will provide an opportunity for mediators and providers working in more competitive mediation centers to find work in more nascent locales. This could be especially appealing for younger mediators who may find it difficult to establish careers as mediators in more competitive environments where those with lengthy prior legal careers may be favored. The ability to work in developing countries could give younger mediators the kick start their careers need. Given the likely increase in mediation, it would be wise for counsel to familiarize themselves with the process. There is also the potential for outside counsel to supplement their incomes by working as mediators in their spare time. Additionally, as the world becomes more and more technologically advanced, so too will commercial disputes. It follows that mediators will likely need to become more specialized in order to understand the subject matter of the disputes at hand. Mediators with prior legal careers should market themselves as specialists as their experience dictates. Younger mediators might need to pick and choose disputes that establish themselves as specialists through their engagement in a particular pattern of cases.

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