Abstract:This article summarizes the findings of an empirical study that examined parties' and attorneys' assessments of mediation in general jurisdiction civil cases. Most parties and lawyers saw mediation as a procedurally just process that generally involved party participation and lacked settlement coercion. The study also examined the relationship between participants' assessments of mediation and various case, party, mediator, and program characteristics. Both parties and attorneys tended to have more favorable assessments when the case settled. Party preparation for mediation, active party and attorney participation in mediation, and attorney cooperation during the session were among the characteristics that enhanced perceptions of procedural fairness.
Keywords: mediation, alternative dispute resolution, empirical research