Mediation and Restorative Justice Center Essay

Mediation and Restorative Justice Center Essay

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Venue: Mediation and Restorative Justice Center

Mediation is the process of negotiating with the assistance of a third party. The third party termed a “mediator” is the guide of the process directing the interested parties through the stage of beginning, middle, and end, and hopefully ending the process, and hopefully ending the process with a resolution of the conflict. In recent years, courtroom litigation has been on the decline and the use of mediation has become the preferred method to resolve cases.
Many courts throughout the United States mandate that civil court cases proceed to mediation before moving ahead to a full blown trial. In Waukesha County, were my mediation observation took place, Judge Mac Davis issued and Order dated July 31, 2012, that all Waukesha County contested Small Claims matters are ordered to proceed thru mediation. For all contested cases, after the Defendant files their written Answer with the court, the Plaintiff is required to initiate scheduling mediation within 10 business days of the filed Answer. The parties may use any mediator they wish. However, if they do not agree on a mediator, Mediation and Restorative Justice Center is to be used.

George Hall, the mediator in the case I observed, astutely noted the benefit of mediation to both the Plaintiff and Defendant as “would you prefer a group of strangers deciding your case or would you rather decide it for yourself?” This mantra presented by Mr. Hall is very persuasive. Given the opportunity, most individuals would rather decide their own fate, rather than have collection of individuals who they never meet, make the ultimate decision for them. Here, Mr. Hall’s goal was to reinforce that notion that is was beneficial for...

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... a contest of what side actually had the “stronger case” and when periods of the mediation would hit a roadblock, at which point he would step in as a “neutral” and ask “evenhanded, probing questions to the participants.” Upon getting the discussions back on track, he returned to being an observer. Mr. Hall also tried to improve the rapport of the parties when necessary. A perfect example is when the participants were mainly on the same page regarding the liquidation of jointly held assets except for a few sentimental items that represented a deep personal significance to each person. Mr. Hall showed great empathy to both sides on this issue and mutual respect formed between the disputing parties, which made it easier for Mr. Hall split up these articles and not let it unravel all of the other work that done as a collective to get to this point.

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