Experts at Mediations

Why not?
Posted by ADMIN February 6, 2012

I recently attended a seminar put on by members of a specialized practice within the Arizona State Bar. While learning a lot about the area of practice, I was surprised to learn that among the mediators in this area all absolutely refused to allow the parties’ experts to attend or participate in the mediation. At least those that spoke or voiced opinions held this opinion.

Afterwards at a break and later at a mediation in this area, I developed the discussion to confirm what I was hearing. Once again it was made very clear: no experts are present. The explanation given: the experts are too involved with their opinions or their egos are too tied up with their opinions.

Question: whether the expert is present or not, will not the mediator have to deal with the expert’s opinion? Is this a fear among attorney-mediators that the expert will have a reasoned/ logical disagreement with the mediator? Is the mediator substituting her/his opinion for that of an expert? Is that the role of a mediator or more that of a neutral evaluator working under the guise or disguise of mediator?

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