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Using Participant Questionnaires to Assess Mediator Performance
Roselle Wissler and Robert W. Rack
11 Disp. Resol. Mag. 33 (2004)
Open Access  |  Library Access


This article summarizes the findings of an empirical study that examined the usefulness of attorneys’ assessments of mediator skillfulness as a method for monitoring mediator performance. Attorneys who had participated in federal appellate civil mediation rated the mediator's skillfulness on seven dimensions as part of a larger questionnaire about their mediation experience. Attorneys gave some of the mediators higher skillfulness ratings than other mediators, and rated individual mediators as more skillful on some dimensions than on other dimensions. These findings indicate that the attorneys' assessments were sufficiently discriminating and nuanced to reveal differences among the different mediators and among the different skills each mediator possessed. Importantly, the ratings did not simply mirror whether settlement or other favorable outcomes were achieved in mediation. Taken together, these findings suggest that participant assessments could provide an effective means for monitoring mediator performance.

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