When you are involved in a legal dispute, sometimes mediation provides the help you need. A form of alternative dispute resolution, mediation allows people on both sides of the disagreement to meet with a neutral party – the mediator. Although the mediator acts as a facilitator, not a judge, you may still want to know who can serve as a mediator. In Alabama, an individual must meet certain minimum requirements to be a registered mediator.
Be At Least the Age of Majority
In Alabama, the age of majority is 19 years. Only persons age 19 or older can serve as a mediator in Alabama.
Be of Good Character
The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution (the “Center”) will assess a mediator’s behavior to make sure they have the character to serve as a mediator. For example:
- Convicted felons are not eligible to serve unless they have been pardoned or had their civil rights restored.
- Applicants who knowingly and willingly provide incorrect information on a mediator application generally are disqualified from serving.
- Mediators must report any criminal conviction to the Center within 30 days of conviction.
Applicants who have behaved inappropriately in the past may still be accepted after the Center reviews the underlying facts.
Professional Training and Experience
People who wish to serve as mediator must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be a licensed attorney in good standing with four years’ legal or judicial experience.
- Have a degree and at least five years of management experience OR a high school diploma plus eight years of management experience.
- Be a licensed attorney in good standing and completed a clinical mediation course in law school.
Mediators also must complete an approved 20-hour mediation training program. Mediator ethics training is also required. To be registered as a divorce and family mediator, completion of a 40-hour training program is required.
Mediators must also agree to act under the Alabama Code of Ethics for Mediators and the Center’s rules for mediator registration.
Finally, mediators must be willing to provide at least 10 hours of pro bono mediation services every year.
Knowing who can serve as mediator is important
When you attend a mediation session, you hope for a good result. The choice of mediator matters.
Attorney Bruce Adams is an Alabama attorney who knows how to listen to his client’s legal concerns and provide actionable advice. He also offers mediation services and is registered as a civil, divorce, and appellate mediator. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.