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15 Negot. J. 107 (1999)
Is There a Niche for Lawyers in the Field of Mediation

handle is hein.journals/nejo15 and id is 106 raw text is: 




















Is  There a Niche for Lawyers

  in  the   Field of Mediation?


          David A. Hoffman


I  agree with  the underlying  con-
cerns  expressed  in the preceding
column  by Ericka Gray about the use
of the term non-lawyer mediator.' I
find it alarming that many ADR  pro-
grams  (such as a majority of federal
court ADR  programs)  limit participa-
tion to lawyers. Such programs do  a
disservice to the public and to the
field of mediation. (I find it hearten-
ing that the American  Bar  Associa-
tion's Section of Dispute Resolution
recently adopted a resolution calling
for an end to such restrictions.2)
  Ericka's column  correctly identi-
fies the underlying problem as a turf
issue. Some  lawyers  have  entered
the  field of mediation like the
proverbial  bull in the china shop,
with little regard for the hard work
that pioneers in the field have done


to develop  standards  for training,
ethics, and qualifications. Many  of
my  colleagues in the bar believe that
their law degrees alone qualify them
to be  dispute resolvers, and  they
have  little regard for the thousands
of mediators who  come  from  a vari-
ety of professional and  nonprofes-
sional backgrounds.  Many  of these
technically  proficient  mediators
work  in community   programs  with-
out compensation   because  of their
love for this important  work   and
their dedication to healing the rifts
in our society.
  When   the term  non-attorney is
used  scornfully or dismissively  to
describe   these  colleagues,  it is
painful, and  I stand  shoulder-to-
shoulder   with  Ericka  and  other
mediators   who   seek to  end  this


David A. Hoffman is a partner in the Boston law firm Hill & Barlow, where he chairs the ADR Prac-
tice Group. He serves as a mediator, arbitrator, and case evaluator for a number of dispute resolution
organizations, and is president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professionals in Dispute
Resolution (SPIDR). He teaches Advanced Mediation and Family Practice at Harvard Law School. His
mailing address is: Hill & Barlow, One International Place, Boston, Mass. 02110; email dhoffman@hill-
barlow.com.


0748S4526/99/0700-0107$16.00/0 © 1999 Plenum Publishing Corporation


Negotiationjournal April 1999 107

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