November 01, 2017

How Do Mediator Actions Affect Mediation Outcomes?

Roselle L. Wissler and Gary Weiner

Reprinted with permission from Dispute Resolution MagazineFall 2017 (24:1), at 26-30. © 2017 American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

Mediators frequently make assertions—both expressly and implicitly—about which actions and approaches are “best” in terms of their effect on mediation outcomes. Because these statements are often based on assumptions, anecdotal observations, and untested beliefs, in 2013 the ABA Dispute Resolution Section created a Task Force on Research on Mediator Techniques and asked it to review the empirical research and try to determine which actions really are beneficial, which are detrimental, and which have no effect on mediation outcomes.

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