Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators Scenarios Analysis

Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators Scenarios Analysis


Overview: The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your understanding of the ethical standards that govern mediators. These standards are covered in The Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (Links to an external site.). According to (Links to an external site.), the The Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators was prepared in 1994 by the American Arbitration Association, the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution, and the Association for Conflict Resolution. A joint committee consisting of representatives from the same successor organizations revised the Model Standards in 2005. Both the original 1994 version and the 2005 revision have been approved by each participating organization. The standards cover the following key terms/mediation concepts:

· Standard I: Self-determination

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· Standard ll: Impartiality

· Standard lll: Conflict of Interest

· Standard lV: Competence

· Standard V: Confidentiality

· Standard Vl: Quality of the Process


1.Read The Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (Links to an external site.) to become familiar the standards of conduct.

2.Read and analyze each scenario to determine if the scenario is either ethical or unethical. Students will write a brief analysis for each scenario, using the standards of conduct to guide their analysis and rationales. See format example below for each scenario, write the scenario and the analysis:

Scenario 0: You are invited to a mediation where the mediator will fix his mediator fees as a % of the total amount agreed by the parties. ”

Analysis 0: Probably unethical. Contingency fees are not allowed in most codes of conduct(Note: Students will write at least one paragraph and use The Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators and/or the textbook to support their analyses. Students will also use the key and descriptive terms such as confidentiality, conflict of interest, impartiality, etc. in the analysis).

Part 1: Ethical Scenarios:

Scenario 1 : You are meeting your best friend after finishing a juicy divorce mediation between two prominent citizens. Your best friend asks you for some details and you say that you can’t mention their names (wink, wink), but here is what happened (and you summarize what happened in the session).

Scenario 2: You are in the midst of a divorce mediation and your brother, who is a local teacher and is not aware of who your clients are, mentions that he just found out that the school nurse suspects Mr. X (the father in this case) of abusing one of his children and is going to file a report on him. You are torn on whether to raise the issue in mediation or investigate it yourself.

Scenario 3: The mediator, in open session, mentions admiration for the boat that one party has shown pictures of to prove repairs were not done properly and engages in a long conversation about the best places to go boating.

Scenario 4: One of the parties expresses deep reluctance about the mediation process. While the mediator doesn’t expressly say that the person “can’t leave,” the mediator’s language and tone heavily imply that leaving is not an option.

Scenario 5: Because you never know how difficult a session will be the mediator makes the rules up as he/she goes along instead of going over the rules and the process with the parties before beginning.

Scenario 6: Two parties in a neighborhood case are disputing the location of a fence. In the process of their discussion, they decide that the entire fence should be relocated, including the part owned by a third neighbor. Is it ethical or unethical if the mediator writes up the agreement that all three neighbors will build a new fence?

Scenario 7: The mediator really grows to admire Jan while mediating a dispute, but is able to maintain impartial regard during the process. One week after settlement, the mediator calls Jan to get together for a drink.


According to the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR), (Links to an external site.) with the rapid growth of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), it is vital to establish ethical standards to undergird the design, structure, practices, and implementation of global online dispute resolution systems. ICODR provides nine best practices for ODR. Keep in mind that online mediation is part and application of the wider field of ODR regulations.

  1. Accessible: ODR must be easy for parties to find and participate in and not limit their right to representation. ODR should be available through both mobile and desktop channels, minimize costs to participants, and be easily accessed by people with different physical ability levels.
  2. Accountable: ODR systems must be continuously accountable to the institutions, legal frameworks, and communities that they serve.
  3. Competent: ODR providers must have the relevant expertise in dispute resolution, legal, technical execution, language, and culture required to deliver competent, effective services in their target areas. ODR services must be timely and use participant time efficiently.
  4. Confidential: ODR must maintain the confidentiality of party communications in line with policies that must be made public around a) who will see what data, and b) how that data can be used.
  5. Equal: ODR must treat all participants with respect and dignity. ODR should enable often silenced or marginalized voices to be heard and ensure that offline privileges and disadvantages are not replicated in the ODR process.
  6. Fair/Impartial/Neutral: ODR must treat all parties equally and in line with due process, without bias or benefits for or against individuals, groups, or entities. Conflicts of interest of providers, participants, and system administrators must be disclosed in advance of commencement of ODR services.
  7. Legal: ODR must abide by and uphold the laws in all relevant jurisdictions.
  8. Secure: ODR providers must ensure that data collected and communications between those engaged in ODR is not shared with any unauthorized parties. Users must be informed of any breaches in a timely manner.
  9. Transparent: ODR providers must explicitly disclose in advance a) the form and enforceability of dispute resolution processes and outcomes, and b) the risks and benefits of participation. Data in ODR must be gathered, managed, and presented in ways to ensure it is not misrepresented or out of context.

Part 2 Question(s):

After reading the above ICODR (Links to an external site.) best practices and taking into consideration The Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (Links to an external site.), write in 1-2 paragraphs what new ethical standards or indicators (at least 3) should be included in the work of online mediator/mediation.

Resources to complete assignment:

International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR) (Links to an external site.)

Florida Standards for Mediators (Links to an external site.)

Florida Rules for Certified and Court -Appointed Mediators (Links to an external site.)

Model Standards of Conduct

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