Choosing A Mediator


Congratulations for choosing mediation as the process to resolve your issues.

The next — and very important—step is to select a trained, experienced and successful mediator able to help you resolve your issues. This page is to help you in that selection.


You know your issues are difficult. If they were not you would not need a mediator.

You deserve a mediator who is experienced in successfully helping people resolve their difficult issues.


Certified Mediators and the Court System

The Supreme Court of Virginia offers Certification to those who complete a qualified program of classwork and who have mediated several cases under the supervision of a mentor.  Virginia Courts can only refer cases to mediators who have received such certification.

You can find a directory of Certified Mediators in Virginia at   The directory provides information about each mediator’s training and experience. Also you may find our Guide for Finding a Qualified Mediator helpful. It is set out below.

Non Certified Mediators

It is important to note that in Virginia any person can legally call him/her self a mediator for cases outside of the Virginia Court System. There are no training and experience requirements for such persons such as those requirements that must be met for a person to be credentialed as a doctor, lawyer, cosmetologist or dozens of other professions.


What follows are matters to ask a prospective mediator about. (This may look like a lot of work. But the mediator you will want and need will be glad to answer your questions either in a phone conversation or during an office visit – for no fee.)

  1. Training:
  • Level of education: High school, college, law school or other post graduate training.
  • Mediation training? Ask about the depth and nature of the training.
  • Life experience: (For example, business experience can be most valuable in business cases.)
  1. Mediation Experience:
  • What experience has the mediator had – generally and in cases similar to yours?
  1. Certification:

Has the mediator been certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia? If so, is his/her certification status appropriate for the issues in your case? Below are the certification classifications.

  • Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
  • General District Court
  • Circuit Court (a higher court)
  • Circuit Court with Family Mediation Certification (divorce, custody, support, equitable distribution etc.).
  1. How did you feel about your conversation with the prospective mediator?
  • Did he/she seem knowledgeable about mediation?
  • Did he/she:
    • Explain the mediation process clearly?
    • Ask good questions?
    • Listen and hear you?
  • Did you feel comfortable talking to him/her?
  1. Should My Mediator Be An Attorney?

In many cases having an attorney can be helpful. Attorneys have knowledge of the law and that can be very helpful. But, as with any mediator, be sure any lawyer-mediator you are considering can work collaboratively.

This is important as the goal of mediation is for the parties to work together to reach a fair and equitable result for both parties. In mediation the parties are not constrained by the law.


See if we meet our own standards and guidelines. And, more importantly, see if we meet yours.

We will be happy to hear from you. We will welcome an opportunity to help resolve your dispute.