As we've talked before with Attorney Shon Cook, who's also a mediator, the belief from Shon is that mediation is an incredible way for disputing parties to work together to come to the best resolution for a situation and help keep control of a final decision that could be made impartially by a judge. It's a cut and dry decision by an un attached party at that point and you may like the outcome, you may not. Using a mediator as tough as it can be can help control decisions that will last for years, if not a lifetime in some circumstances. There are some very important things to know about the function of a mediator however, and Shon's going to explain them today.
Mediators have limits. They are a remarkably valuable resource when it comes to hammering out the details, however there are some areas where they have to draw the line. Even though mediators are attorneys' sometimes, they are wearing a different hat in mediation and have to separate those two distinct specialties. A mediator can't offer legal advice. A mediator can't file with a court. A mediator can talk about process. A mediator can help people consider consequences and for sure, the mediator can talk about things that need to be addressed. If in fact a mediator steps "out of bounds" on any of this stuff, it's a potential problem and in the long run, not good.
As our conversation around the topic carries on this week, a bit on an evolution happens. In this particular situation, we all know the importance of the role an attorney plays as well as the highly advocated mediator. However, knowing the limits of these roles is equally important as these are highly specialized fields and not everyone is an expert on everything and in the age of information, it requires a little wisdom. We see an awful lot of those who think they know it all in any kind of field anymore...they have a lot of info.....but it's the wisdom that's needed to assure the best outcome. Shon speaks incredibly to that. Take a listen.