Self Determination


We all know a common benefit of mediation is self-determination. That is one of the main differences I think mediation has compared to other methods of trying to resolve your issue especially compared to litigation.

What happens when you do not get to choose the mediator? Sometimes it is a problem, but other times, no one cares.

An example of it not being an issue is in most civil court related mediation programs, the mediators follow a rotation and it is not an issue. You get whoever is up next and everyone is fine with it.

Now switch over the New York State Senate, which has been inactive for two weeks due to a 'coup' by the Republican Party leaving the Senate 31 republicans and 31 democrats. What does 'even' mean here? It means nothing is getting done. They can not agree on anything and there is no legislation even discussed.

Governor Paterson has tried to intervene by appointing two mediators, one democrat and one republican. Sounds good, right? Sounds fair, one guy from each party?

Guess again, spokesman for State Senator and sort-of Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) said this, "This is total bulls - - -, and we're not buying it. "

Paterson, who is a democrat did not get any better comments from members of his own party. Two noteworthy comments are:

"How does someone who is not a party to a dispute think he can pick mediators and impose them without even checking with the disputants?" asked a top Democrat who has been trying to settle the struggle.

"It looks like a governor trying to be relevant and it's not going to move the process along."

Again, these are people from his own party!

What could one of the reasons you might be asking for such an uproar?

This might be it:

"How does someone who is not a party to a dispute think he can pick mediators and impose them without even checking with the disputants?" asked a top Democrat who has been trying to settle the struggle."

So yes, self determination can start with the selection of the mediator(s) and not allowing the parties can have an adverse affect, regardless of the intentions. Just ask Governor Paterson.


Quotes are from the NY Post article [here].

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