To Certify or Not To Certify

Well, it looks like Florida is trying to force-feed certification in the mediation field again. Read here.

Quite frankly, I say proudly that I am not certified. I have a vast amount of experience litigating cases and have been meditating for about 8 years now. I still represent family law clients as well just in out-of-court processes like Collaborative Law or Cooperative cases and in mediations even. Mediation certification does not translate to knowledge. period. In fact, I know too many lawyers and others who simply go out and take a certification course (and some of those courses leave a lot to be desired) and then begin mediating with never any additional training. I have spent hundreds of hours taking more sophisticated courses. I have spent hours and hours training in conflict resolution through other areas in my life. This debate has been done over and over and the result always seems to be that credentialing can truly hinder the practice of good mediation. Furthermore, the argument that there are mediators out there without “ethical” standards causing damage to the mediation process just does not play out. There is more than enough information out there for prose people that helps them understand what they might need from a mediator. There are certainly enough mediators with very very informative pages. People are getting more and more sophisticated and they know what they want and need and they know when they are not getting it. In fact, I find those pro se clients who pick their mediator usually fare better and reach a solid agreement that they adhere to especially compared to a litigated case that may end up with a force-fed result during mediation.

Just my take.