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Tips for Successful Mediation

Maryland Bar Journal, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 62-66, July 2010

6 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2010 Last revised: 20 Jul 2010

Neil Joel Dilloff

University of Baltimore - School of Law; UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF LAW

Date Written: July 1, 2010


These days, it seems that almost every civil lawsuit is mediated. The forum is either a private mediation in which the parties select and pay for a mediator or a court-mandated mediation or settlement conference held before a retired judge, a United States Magistrate Judge or another court-appointed mediator. Mediations are so common that there are now numerous private international, national and local mediation groups, bar association mediators, and individual mediators. Many judges and lawyers who "retire" from the active practice of law become mediators. More cases are settled at mediation than are resolved at trial.

Accordingly, because mediation has become the dispute resolution process of choice in almost every jurisdiction, it makes sense to focus on what elements contribute to a successful mediation. For purposes of this article, a successful mediation is defined as (1) one in which the dispute is settled and (2) in which the parties are satisfied with the mediator's services. Mediators for hire should agree with this definition since one of their objectives is to get hired again and each of these criteria plays a large role in attracting repeat business.

Keywords: civil lawsuits, mediation, settlement conferences, mediators, retired judges, mediation groups, dispute resolution

JEL Classification: K19, K39, K49, D74

Suggested Citation

Dilloff, Neil Joel, Tips for Successful Mediation (July 1, 2010). Maryland Bar Journal, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 62-66, July 2010. Available at SSRN: or

Neil Joel Dilloff (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States


United States

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