What training is involved in mediation?
In the context of legal history mediation is a relatively new and ever evolving field in the legal environment. This being said there is currently no state in the Union that requires an individual to be certified or even have any kind of training in order to be a mediator. Many states, however, do require that an individual have at least some form of training or education in the field of mediation. The state of Massachusetts, for example requires a minimum of 30 hours of training for mediators. Training can also be satisfied by appropriate classes taken in undergraduate school, law school, business school or any other form of higher learning. The courses that qualify are usually those that deal with alternate dispute resolution, negotiation, and arbitration.
Why would someone get training if it is not required?
Even though mediation training is not required it is highly beneficial for those seeking to enter the field. First and foremost, mediation is a voluntary action taken by parties to a dispute. That being said, parties are free to choose their own mediators and are not court appointed. On that point it is in the mediator's best interest to be as knowledgeable about the procedures, strategies, and methods involved in mediation in order to retain clients and receive satisfactory results.
Must a mediator be certified?
As mentioned above, there is no state in the Union that requires a mediator to be certified. However, some courts require qualification standards in order to be considered in court referrels or providing services in court-connected dispute resolution programs. The court of your jurisdiction will often provide a list of these mediators for parties to choose from. As mentioned, one is not required to pick from this list and they are free to choose an outside mediator to resolve the situation.
What standards do mediators have to follow?
Mediators are not subject to exclusionary rules of evidence, or rules of evidence and there is virtually no court interaction. However, a mediator should be impartial and act as a neutral member of the negotiations. He/she has an obligation to be competent about the subject matter and be capable of devoting the time and effort necessary to resolve the matter.