Beyond Abstinence

By Dwight Golann and Marjorie Corman Aaron
For too long there’s been enormous division and vigorous debate in our field about the wisdom, value, and ethics of a mediator providing an evaluation of issues involved in a dispute. Most of this debate has concerned a mediator stating how he or she thinks a judge, jury, or arbitrator might rule if a case is adjudicated. Many academics and trainers argue that this kind of evaluation is improper. Some courts prohibit it outright or at least discourage it. Ethical standards waffle on the topic. But many lawyers and parties consistently say they want their mediator to evaluate.