January 01, 2015 EXP

Using Mediation in Guardianship Litigation

By Catherine A. Seal, Michael A. Kirtland

Overview of Mediation

“Mediation,” in this article, is a subset of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. These include negotiation and settlement, private judges, mini-trials, informal settlement conferences, binding arbitration, and mediation. Mediation is “[f]acilitated negotiation with the assistance of a neutral third party who helps parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution.” Susan Hartman, CLE Program at Stetson University College of Law: Guardianship Mediation, 13 (June 1–5, 2005). The process is consensual, and the mediator has no power to impose a resolution. A mediator may play one or more of many different roles as a neutral party to the conflict, including facilitator, communicator, educator, resource expander, reality check, devil’s advocate, guardian of the details, reconciliator, and interpreter.

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