Should a Mediator Be Neutral?

Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 51

Journal of American Arbitration, Vol. 4, 2005

12 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2006

See all articles by Joseph P. Stulberg

Joseph P. Stulberg

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law; Vermont Law School


A mediator facilitates discussion and problem-solving among disputing parties. Some believe that the mediator best serves by parties by providing advice and counsel regarding how matters could or should be resolved, or insuring that mediated outcomes comport with public standards or the public interest; this author rejects that suggestion, contending that a mediator must be neutral in order to fairly serve all participants. He argues that mediation is a social practice with a dominant goal of insuring that a party's dispute resolution experience comports with justice principles; the only intervener posture that secures that goal, he maintains, is one of neutrality. Hence, while neutrality is a derivative value in the mediation process, it is essential.

Keywords: Dworkin, Hart

JEL Classification: K40, K41, K49

Suggested Citation

Stulberg, Joseph P., Should a Mediator Be Neutral?. ; Journal of American Arbitration, Vol. 4, 2005. Available at SSRN:

Joseph P. Stulberg (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Vermont Law School

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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