• mediation speeds up resolution
    saves money, and satisfies clients.

mediation conflict of interest standards

The Illinois Uniform Mediation Act requires that a mediator, before accepting a mediation, disclose information that a reasonable person would believe could affect the mediator’s impartiality.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • the mediator’s personal or financial interest in the outcome of the dispute being mediated and
  • information concerning the mediator’s past or present relationship with any party to the dispute or other participant in the mediation.

When the Uniform Mediation Act was drafted, some participants in the process sought to impose a series of specific substantive protections for people participating in mediation. In the end, the drafters concluded that a conflict disclosure regime was a more effective and flexible way to ensure a fair process. Too, they realized that there are situations in which a mediator who is not impartial may be desired.

My mediator’s disclosure statement is intended to fulfill this obligation. Since I am no longer at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, the disclosure will look much simplier than it has in the past as it just deals with my personal interests and relationships, not those of a whole law firm. The disclosure statement also asks both sides to disclose immediately any information that should have been disclosed that is omitted from the statement. If anyone is uncomfortable having me as a mediator after reviewing it, they should say so immediately and select a new mediator. Continuing with the process after disclosure waives any objections, but parties remain free to withdraw from mediation at any time, and should, if they feel I am not being neutral in my approach to the case.

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