Final Report Comments & Questions

Select Comments on the Final Report here:

     Is Online Mediation a "lesser service?" Will Online Mediation make divorce so easy as to encourage divorce?

My comments are directly solely to family mediation which ha s additional concerns than other civil mediation. While I agree with the value that online mediation provides with respect to providing greater access to legal services generally, particularly the benefits for self represented parties or to low income individuals, the downside of greater access is that sometimes online meetings allow for less understanding of the actual conflict between the parties and I have discovered that sometimes when I handle the entire case using online mediation sessions only (where I never meet the clients in person) does not reveal the whole picture. Sometimes I worry that there is an inverse relationship between the standard of care I can deliver to my mediation clients and the extent to which my relationship is virtual only. In other words, I feel I am more competent and deliver a better overall service when I meet my clients in person. There may be a benefit with regard to better conflict management online, but I feel like the overall mediation product is diminished when I never meet the client. I also think that when we make divorce really easy for people, we make divorce really easy. Is that a good thing? I think in person mediation is more respectful of the serious nature of divorce and that it isn't just something to take care of as easily as possible. So to the extent the report is intent on simplifying the divorce process, which is a good thing, oversimplification through extolling the benefits of the online model also has a significant downside in some cases, particularly where their are children involved.


What are the timelines and milestones for making progress on online mediation?

The report offered a number of recommendations to fully embrace online mediation. However, there was no proposed timeline or measurable milestones. While proposing a timeline for somewhat general concepts would certainly be difficult, it would be beneficial to be able to measure progress in some way.


How can we support more trainings on cultural diversity?

I would love to see more workshops on cultural variables that affect mediation. I am from Michigan and I live temporary now in Dubai since 7 years and I see the need for such workshops. Dubai being the hub of businesses and international travelers and they just opened some mediation centers that are not well equipped to handle all matters of dispute resolution.


How can we support organizations coordinating on online mediation standards?

Organizational / Institutional affiliation would be key in ensuring Mediator skills and professionalism, thus engendering trust and confidence of parties. Bringing this issue upward, a collaboration of organizations and institutions would be valuable. How can we make this happen?


How can we best keep current on developing issues of online mediation?

I am teaching right now about the online option, so I am very interested in the staying current on the latest developments, cautions, etc.  What are your recommendations?

Select Question for the Final Report Forum here:

     What will be doing to further the recommendations of the report?
     An excellent Report. Can the 8 primary recommendations be globally applied to most regions of the world? 
     How about talking a little bit about potential downside of the whole online mediation bandwagon?
     How are we, as mediators, educating and informing the general public about what mediation is and the possibilities of mediation in varying aspects of both personal and business life?
     There doesn't seem to be any training suggested for mediators in analytics ( e.g. decision-trees, etc). I believe this would help better explain the risk of litigation vs settlement and therefore help people make more informed decisions.
     I want to understand how you are going about the implementation part?
     How to address/sponsor and “make valid” internationally qualifications obtained online?
     “Regarding training, the technology allows us to transcend borders.” It's possible to extend the online mediation training to a group of CSO leaders who work as community mediators in the ongoing conflict in Cameroon?
     May e mediation help resolve the conflicts of climate change?
     Do you think that recruiting more women in mediation could be a game changer in regard to family mediation issues such as divorce, child support, etc...?
     Are there suggested best practices for Online Dispute Resolution?