What's It All About? Finding the Appropriate Problem Definition in Mediation Academic Article uri icon


  • In this article, we propose four mechanisms to enable mediation participants to explore problems broadly and then to decide what problem definition is most appropriate for the mediation of their case: A three-step systematic method for determining the problem to be addressed; Two variations of a rule that could be adopted by courts (and private providers) that would require lawyers or mediators to implement this systematic way of working with problem definition; and A new rule under which a court (or private) mediation program would offer to customize any mediation in order to seek the most appropriate problem definition We offer these mechanisms here to stimulate a dialogue regarding the most effective and administrable approaches that could give parties-especially one-shot players-the opportunity to influence the focus of their mediation sessions.

author list (cited authors)

  • Riskin, L. L., & Welsh, N. A.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM