Excerpt from an interview with Emily Altman

“I keep in mind what counsel say they look for in a mediator — beyond being neutral and smart — which ranges from the practical to the profound.   At a basic level, they’re looking for someone who’s prepared to talk about the case at the first meeting, who’s tough setting a schedule, who’s ready to start early in the morning.   Moving along the continuum,  they want someone the parties will like and trust and who can establish a rapport with the other side but who is, at the same time, willing to push both sides.   They want someone who is prepared to make suggestions and toss out ideas to break impasses.    Interestingly, they say they want someone who is facilitative until “it’s time” to be evaluative.   Of course, that particular moment is unique to every mediation — in some cases it can be right at the beginning.  But a mediator’s ability to recognize it can make all the difference to a successful outcome.  Finally, they’re looking for someone who never gives up, even if that means calling back after ten days or four months, if the case doesn’t settle, and trying again.”