FAQ: What Does It Mean to Be a “Neutral”?

Neutrals are third-parties. They aren’t part of the dispute to be arbitrated or mediated, and they aren’t likely to be significantly impacted by any resolution the primary parties create. Unlike your mom, who benefited from a quiet home when you and your sibling stopped fighting, the neutral typically receives no direct benefit from the resolution of the conflict. Yes, they might get paid for their guidance, but they will be paid whether or not you reach a resolution. So, they won’t pick sides or judge one of you as right or wrong. This is not to say an arbitrator won’t award money or other restitution when a behavior has caused harm, but that award won’t generally have a punishment motive. You won’t get grounded like you might when your mom had to intervene.

Would you like to see if there’s a resolution to your conflict that’s even better than you imagined possible? Complete and return our Mediation Interest Form to request a conflicts check and subject matter review.

NOTE: This post is a general overview of mediation. It is not legal advice, and there is certainly no guarantee that choosing mediation will generate a specific result. Past success is never a guarantee of a future outcome. If you require legal information or advice applied to your unique situation, please make an appointment to discuss it with an attorney. Don’t rely solely on what you read on the Internet.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator based in New York City. She is the founder of The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick. Her holistic, integrative approach draws from her experience as a human resources supervisor, as well as her legal and EEOC training. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Best for NYC 2015 finalist), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (2013 Pitch Competition finalist). Most recently, she attained her certificate in Ethno-Religious Conflict Mediation and was invited to serve as the Main ICERM Representative to the United Nations.