The three key skills for mediators

Judge A. Howard Matz (Retired)

The experience that Judge Howard Matz acquired in over three decades of private practice and on the bench makes him well-qualified to assist parties and their counsel in resolving disputes through arbitration or mediation.

Over three decades in private practice and on the bench enables retired judge Howard Matz especially well-qualified to point out the three critical attributes for mediators:

Being a good listener.

It’s very critical to listen not only to the words being said but to the meaning of what isn’t being said. That’s how you form an opinion of how complete and reliable what you’re being told is.

Demonstrating good faith.

Arbitrators resolve a dispute while mediators help the parties come to a resolution. Therefore, you have to convey a deep-seated good faith that you’re trying to assist the parties in resolving the dispute fairly. This is more than cosmetic; it’s only useful if everyone believes you are genuine.

Being prepared.

You have to read what’s before you, read up on the case if it’s pending in federal court, and read the applicable law that’s at issue — some cases are anti-trust, some are securities, some have to do with property. You have to know your way around the vineyard in which you’re laboring.