Gilda Turitz writes “Mediation “Success:” Process Matters As Well As Results” for The Mediation Society

January 2017

We often talk about a mediation being “successful” because the case settled, or conversely that it “failed” because a full settlement was not achieved and at least some parties are continuing to fight. But “success” or “failure” articulated by the result does not always correlate with the parties and counsel being fully satisfied with the mediator and the mediation.

Intuitively, as mediators, we would expect a “successful” mediation to result in participant satisfaction and therefore referrals, good references, repeat business, and an enhanced reputation. We would also assume that not reaching settlement might have an adverse, or at least a neutral, effect on the mediator’s reputation and the continued ability to get referrals.

But such conclusions are too facile.