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Unpublished Paper
Regulating Mediators
ExpressO (2015)
  • Art Hinshaw, Arizona State University
Currently consumers engage mediators on a caveat emptor basis. The regulatory scheme for mediators is, at best, a disjointed patchwork of organizations that make mediation referrals which allows unscrupulous mediators to exploit consumers and hide in the system’s holes. One egregious example of abuse comes from Gary J. Karpin, a disbarred lawyer turned divorce mediator, who is believed to have used the mediation process to con hundreds of people into giving him an estimated $1 million before taking up residence in prison. His con was so successful in part because there was no natural place for his victims to turn for help and the places where they went were ineffective. In an age when everyone from doctors to cosmetologists is subject to occupational regulation, why are mediators virtually unregulated? Mediators have long been divided on the question of whether they should be regulated. Those who oppose regulation routinely focus on what is best for the mediation process, not what is best for the consumer. For a field that prides itself in understanding and addressing others’ concerns, this stance is odd and, ultimately, untenable. Using traditional arguments for regulation – protecting both consumers and the field itself – this paper refutes the established arguments against regulating mediators and contends that mediators should be regulated. In so doing, this paper provides two methods for regulating mediators that avoid the pitfalls of prior regulatory attempts, suggests the best form of regulation, and discusses what regulation means to the field as a whole.
  • mediation,
  • negotiation,
  • occupational regulation
Publication Date
March 1, 2015
Citation Information
Art Hinshaw. "Regulating Mediators" ExpressO (2015)
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