Mediating Commercial Cases in U.S. Municipal Courts: A Case for Transformative Mediation

Authors: Jody B. Miller


Transformative mediation for commercial disputes provides courts, attorneys and parties a process that most closely follows self-determination, a core principle of mediation. It also provides unique benefits for stakeholders that include a process that is efficient and effective since it allows attorneys and parties to address the most salient issues of the conflict in the order that they choose to, while supporting their conversation. For courts, transformative mediation offers the chance for sustainable solutions and when no solution is found, the issues before the court are narrower because the parties are clearer and more focused, which increases efficiency in the court process. Lastly, transformative mediation does not get in the way of access to justice because parties may choose to go directly to court because they decide that they need the court to make a decision. Because transformative mediation’s goals are to help people become clearer, more decisive and consider the other party’s perspective, it does not divorce the interaction from the specific issues before the court. Rather it fosters a conversation that leads to benefits for all involved.