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III. Impartiality

1. Impartiality

A mediator should maintain impartiality toward all participants. Impartiality means freedom from favoritism and bias in word, action and appearance. Impartiality implies a commitment to aid all participants, as opposed to a single individual, in reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement.

A mediator has a responsibility to maintain impartiality while raising questions for the participants to consider as to the reality, fairness, equity, and feasibility of proposed options for settlement. The mediator should withdraw if the mediator is unable to remain impartial.

2. Conflicts of Interest and Relationship

A mediator’s actual or perceived impartiality may be compromised at any time by social or professional relationships with one of the participants or others affected by the dispute. A mediator should be aware that pre- and post-mediation professional or social relationships may compromise a mediator’s ability to serve as an impartial third party.

Mediators should disclose to the participants any relationships that might be perceived as a conflict of interest. The mediator should not proceed with the mediation unless (a) such relationships have been disclosed; (b) the role of the mediator has been made distinct from the relationships; and (c) all of the participants freely choose to proceed.

Go to: IV. Costs and Fees