Party Participation and Voice in Mediation
Dispute Resolution Magazine, Vol. 18, No. 20, 2011
2 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2011
Date Written: 2011
The present article examines lawyers’ presence in mediation, party participation and voice using data from exit surveys of parties who attended court-connected mediation in either general civil cases or domestic relations cases. Lawyers’ presence in mediation seemed to have a larger effect on party participation than on parties’ sense of voice. Parties’ level of participation during mediation was related to whether they felt they had voice. But some parties who did little or no talking, or whose lawyers talked a lot, still felt they had voice. Voice had stronger and more consistently favorable relationships with parties’ assessments of mediation than did how much the parties or their lawyers talked. These findings suggest that to enhance parties' experience in mediation, lawyers and mediators need to both facilitate parties’ participation and ensure that parties feel their views are expressed.
Keywords: Mediation, Procedural Justice, Empirical Research
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