Search Mediators Near You:

ABA DR Task Force Tool Kit for Improving the Quality of Mediation

This tool kit is based on the work of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Task Force on Improving the Quality of Mediation. The Task Force developed the recommendations below and the documents attached over the course of more than 30 facilitated group discussions with mediation users and mediators. The Task Force conducted these discussions in nine cities in the US and Canada. A summary of comments shared during focus group discussions are available in appendix D.


The purpose of this tool kit is to allow local and state mediation organizations and bar association to conduct their own local discussions, tailoring the discussion protocols and survey questionnaires attached to their local needs. This tool kit is not a guide to doing social science research in the academic sense. The recommendations below are merely guidelines and suggestions from the Task Force’s experience conducting discussions on expectations, issues, concerns, and observations regarding local mediation practices. The Task Force encourages local and state groups to modify the process to suit their own local needs. If groups wish to conduct more rigorous social science research on mediation, we recommend that you partner with experts in your state’s institutions of higher education.


Section II lays out the steps for convening a discussion on mediation quality.

Section III discusses how to convene an organizing committee and then how to identify and invite representative stakeholders to attend the discussions.

Section IV covers how to use the information gathered during the discussions.

Section V lists a number of documents that will assist organizing committees.

The complete versions of these documents can be obtained from the Task Force’s web site: .

Attachments to this Article


Managing Editor In business since 1996, is the world’s leading mediation and dispute resolution website with over 7 million annual site visitors. serves as a bridge between professionals offering dispute resolution services and individuals and businesses needing those services. was awarded the 2010 American Bar Association Institutional Problem Solver of… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


2009 Developments In Mediation: Joint Commission Standard On Code Of Conduct

From the Disputing Blog of Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes. by Holly Hayes Health care leaders have known for years that disruptive behaviors are a serious problem. Verbal...

By Holly Hayes

How To Create More Currency In Employment Mediation

When Congress decided to include, as gross income, settlements made for "non-physical" injury torts, it reduced the value of such settlements by up to 45 percent. This has been particularly...

By Jeffrey Krivis

Six Ways To Sabotage a Mediation

Jeff Kichaven writes on mediation for the International Risk Management Institute. First published on Feeling mischievous? Naughty? Maybe even a little spiteful, perhaps? Want to use that negativity to...

By Jeff Kichaven

Find a Mediator