It would be a voluntary organization. Not everyone would need to join the cooperative, but those who do:
- Would have to have a minimum level of expertise, certain minimum qualifications, and commitment to standards of competency and fair dealing; and,
- Agree to a set fee and a set period of time for each mediation settlement conference, so that everyone in the cooperative would know that if he or she is tapped to serve as a mediator in a particular case, he or she would know what is paid and how long the mediation settlement conference would last. This would make scheduling a mediation settlement conference much easier, more consistent, and reliable.
A cooperative would cause the pool of mediators to expand dramatically, as would the number of dates and times and the locations for mediation settlement conferences.
A cooperative would keep costs low without sacrificing quality.
A cooperative would also have some important fringe benefits, such as bringing together family law practitioners in much more frequent, intimate settings as both mediators and mediation settlement conference participants. I have to believe this would result in truly greater collegiality and improve relationships among practitioners.
If you’re interested in finding out more information about creating or becoming part of a mediation cooperative, please call Eric Johnson: 801-466-9277, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.