Mediation is a popular form of dispute resolution that is used in many states to ensure that the process is conducted in a fair and impartial manner. As such, there are certain restrictions on who can serve as an observer during a mediation session. In Columbia, Maryland, the requirements for being included in the list of mediators are quite stringent. Applicants must have completed a minimum of 40 hours in an approved mediation training program within five years of applying.
This is in line with the Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, which requires mediators to have at least 40 hours of in-person training in alternative dispute resolution and an additional 24 hours of family mediation training to be appointed in cases involving domestic matters. In Nevada, district ADR commissioners create and maintain a panel of mediators comprised of attorneys licensed to practice law and an independent panel of mediators who are not attorneys. The general criteria for admission to the court's list of mediators include 40 hours of basic mediation training, five hours of mentoring, and a bachelor's degree. In Iowa, applicants who have a bachelor's degree or higher and have received 40 hours of mediation training can be included in the list of mediators.
In New Mexico, all judicial mediation programs are conducted at the local level, except for the Juvenile Court Mediation Program. Mediators are also encouraged to contact their local mediation center for information on judicial referrals. If the person is not licensed to practice law, they must have mediated more than 25 disputes or participated in more than 500 hours of dispute resolution. The South Carolina Bar Association houses the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission and the Supreme Court's Board of Arbitrators and Certification of Mediators, and helps the Court maintain and distribute the official list of active certified mediators and arbitrators.
The general requirements for court-related mediators include having completed at least 30 hours of basic mediation training, at least one observation of mediation, and mediation with, or under the supervision of, a qualified mentor. Most states that have comprehensive state rules require more training for neutral people who want to mediate family disputes than for people interested in civil disputes. The model rules include 40 hours of basic training on mediation, at least two mediations of at least two hours in duration that are mediated by a mentor mediator or supervised by a mentor mediator, and legal training in the form of a course on the judicial system and civil litigation (lawyers are not exempt from this requirement). There are also specialized courses in conflict resolution for interested individuals who wish to learn the methods of arbitration, mediation and negotiation. No matter will be referred to mediation if a temporary or definitive restraining order is in effect in the matter pursuant to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (N.). If mediation is considered appropriate and the parties agree or receive the order to mediate, the court will refer them to an authorized mediator or provide a “list” of mediators who meet the basic standards and requirements.