Should I let the other side choose the mediator?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Mediators do not decide cases. If the other side is comfortable with the style of a particular mediator, that mediator may be a good choice. It’s not necessarily a good idea to be suspicious of a mediator just because the other side recommended him or her. Most successful mediators end up facilitating many cases with the same parties. It’s not an indication of bias, but of trusting that the mediator will perform his or her duties in a professional manner.

What to Avoid in a Mediator

If there is more to your suspicion than the fact that the other side recommended the mediator, you may have reason to challenge the choice. Here are some basic things to avoid with any mediator:

  • The mediator has a history of deciding a specific way in the majority of their mediation sessions. For instance, if this mediator’s agreements always favor the person you are suing, that mediator may be biased
  • The mediator is related to either party in the case
  • The mediator is friends with either party in the case
  • There are negative reviews or complaints about the mediator listed on local or national mediation sites, such as

If your attorney does not recommend that particular mediator, this is another red flag. Remember that the legal community is relatively small in most areas and both lawyers and others participating in the legal process tend to gain a reputation for their work. If this mediator’s reputation is questionable, avoid him or her if at all possible.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Things to do Before Agreeing on a Mediator

Before agreeing to a particular mediator, it is important that both sides feel comfortable with their choice. Before agreeing to hire a particular mediator you should call the proposed mediator (or better still, have a lawyer call for you) and inquire about what types of cases that mediator has done, how he or she conducts a mediation, and what references can be provided for you to check into. While most areas of law do no require special knowledge on the part of mediator, some areas such as divorce law do. It is important that the mediator be familiar with the laws of a state regarding payment amounts and actions that can and cannot be enforced.

Before agreeing on a mediator, you should also consider contacting the mediator’s references to inquire about their opinions of how well the mediation was conducted. While not every party will be completely thrilled that they had to mediate a situation, references can give you an idea of the overall personality and practices of a mediator. The ideal mediator is someone who is both strong enough to keep control of the mediation session, but calm enough to diffuse any heated arguments.

Getting Help

If you are considering mediation as an alternative to traditional litigation, contact your attorney for more details.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption