Mediations differ from arbitrations in one key aspect. The mediator is not the decision maker and does not have the power to impose a resolution on the disputing parties. The parties seek to reach a compromise agreement with the help of the mediator and through the use of the mediator’s specialized knowledge in the areas in dispute. Mediators can make recommendations and work to get the parties to settlement but they do not have the power to act as a judge in the matter Just like arbitrators, a mediator is a neutral party. They do not represent any party. Successful mediators excel at communication, negotiation, and listening. They may make alternative suggestions and look for workable solutions for all parties. Sometimes, judicial officers will serve as a settlement judge in a “settlement conference.” In this scenario, the judicial officer be the “mediator” and will not impose a resolution, but will work with the parties to help them reach a settlement.
Mediators are governed by the Model Standard of Conduct for Mediators. While there are currently no certification agencies for mediators in Arizona, other states do provide such training and certification. There are also extended education programs that hone mediators’ skills. Jaburg Wilk has mediators who are skilled in mediating family law matters – Mervyn Braude, and a mediator who is skilled in mediating trust and probate disputes – Lauren Garner.