The Four Ways to Assure Mediator Quality (and why none of them work)

Event Date: Wednesday February 20, 2008
Time: 8:30-10:00 A.M. (Continental Breakfast at 8:00)
Location: Pound Hall 335, Harvard Law School

Michael Moffitt, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the ADR Center, School of Law, University of Oregon

What, if anything, helps to assure mediation consumers that they will receive high-quality services? Mediation’s dramatic expansion has increased the salience of this question in recent years. Most responses to the impulse toward quality control, however, have been disparate, narrow, and in some respects, disappointing. Building on his research on mediator liability, Professor Moffitt will present a descriptive framework aimed at providing coherence to the range of different modern efforts at assuring quality. He will also present at a preliminary exploration of what mediation might learn (and what it might ignore) from the historical evolution of quality control in other practices and professions.

Before joining the University of Oregon faculty in 2001, Professor Moffitt served as the clinical supervisor for the mediation program at Harvard Law School and taught negotiation at Harvard Law School and at the Ohio State University College of Law. He served as the President of the Harvard Mediation Program during his final year of law school. Moffitt was a judicial clerk for U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich in the Northern District of Ohio. He then spent several years with Conflict Management Group, consulting on negotiation and dispute resolution projects around the world. Moffitt’s clients have ranged from senior judges to tribal leaders, from unionized prison guards to corporate executive, from national political leaders to diplomatic academy trainees. Most of his research and writing has centered on the practice of mediation, negotiation and dispute resolution. Moffitt received the University of Oregon’s Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2004. He also teaches at the summer Program of Instruction for Lawyers (PIL) at the Program on Negotiation.

Please RSVP to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *