Q: How does one select a mediator? What if we can't agree on using the same person?
A: I know California Mediation and Arbitration law better than Illinois law. In California, most mediations require the parties to agree on a Mediator. All sides have to agree on a Mediator for he Mediation to take place. If the parties to the Mediation simply cannot agree on a mediator, then they can select a neutral third party to select a Mediator for them, until an agreement is reached. Sometimes, parties can have the Court select a Mediator for them. In many states he Court has mediation programs offered at very low fees (such as $150 to $200 for a 2-hour mediation). These are not as effective as using a higher-paid Mediator such as a retired Judge. But, $300 beats $3,000 for a half day of mediation in California.
A: There are many neutral arbitration/mediation organizations in the Chicago area and around Illinois that provide solid work. It would be very strange if the lawyers involved couldn't agree on a mediator. In some cases, a mediation might be set by the presiding judge, sending the case to another judge to mediate. Assuming the mediation envisioned is nonbinding i can't imagine why a mediator couldn't be agreed upon and in the case of an impasse like the one you describe, I would ask your lawyer to bring this problem to the judge who is overseeing your case. Maybe the judge can break the logjam.
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