Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2007


In response to concerns about poor-quality mediation services in commercial cases, the Section of Dispute Resolution recently established a Task Force to develop realistic proposals to increase the quality and use of commercial mediation. As an initial step, the Task Force on Improving Mediation Quality conducted focus groups with experienced mediation users. This article summarizes key findings from the initial sets of focus groups. We found that focus group participants have nuanced understandings of the mediation process, their role in it, and the qualities they want in a mediator. In general, focus group participants want better access to information about potential mediators during the selection process and recommend effective premediation preparation by all participants. They differed about whether it was helpful for mediators to express their opinions and, if so, in what ways and under what circumstances.



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