Mediation Services

AAA enables you to identify a variety of mediation services to best meet your specific mediation needs. Our dynamic Mediator Search engine will help you to find the right mediator. You can conduct a detailed, customized mediator search focusing on several areas of expertise, including disputes arising in the commercial, construction, labor, employment, international, judicial settlement, insurance, healthcare, environmental, governmental, community, family and mass claims arenas. AAA also offers technical support and customized programs to resolve high-volume, large-scale caseloads through mediation services. These services include disaster recovery, mortgage foreclosure, and similar mass claims. AAA also features innovative and cutting-edge mediation services such as the Florida Foreclosure program and Judicial Settlement Services, each indicative of AAA’s ability to design customized systems to meet unique conflict management needs. 


How to Initiate a Mediation

First Steps

If the AAA is written into your contract for dispute resolution, please click here to file your mediation. It will be administered under the AAA Mediation Procedures and not through AAA Parties that do not have the AAA written into their contract and wish to proceed with mediation through AAA, should complete the following initial steps:

  • Agree to mediate under AAA Mediation Procedures. To view these Procedures, click here.
  • Agree to a mediator. You can find a mediator by clicking here.
  • Select an AAA Mediation Manager. A list of Mediation Managers can be found here. Once a Mediation Manager has been chosen, (s)he will contact both parties.

What is the Cost?

To have your mediation managed by AAA, the costs are as follows:

  • $300 filing fee (per case)*
  • $50/hour of billed mediator time is also charged as an administrative fee; the Mediation Manager will invoice the parties 50/50 for those costs

*Where there are multiple cases, contact the Mediation Manager to discuss whether a lower filing fee may be available. Parties may reallocate this filling fee by having the non-filing party reimburse the filing party for half this fee.


Mediation Procedures

Before the mediation process can begin, the parties must agree in writing to procedures that they determine between themselves or to an existing set of procedures. Mediation agreements may be included as part of a contract that specifies what procedures will govern the mediation process. Alternatively, parties frequently agree to mediate following the onset of a dispute regardless of whether their contract stipulates mediation as a means of resolution, or when there is no contract between the parties.

AAA offers the following mediation procedures:


Preparing for a Mediation

The prospect of reaching a mutually acceptable outcome in mediation primarily depends on two things: (1) pre-mediation preparation and, (2) the willingness of the parties to work together. The following information will help you with the former and give you an appreciation for the latter. 

1. Consider Whether You Have a Dispute, a Conflict, or Both
The terms dispute and conflict are commonly used interchangeably, but it is very helpful when preparing for mediation to make a clear distinction between the two. A dispute is an argument or debate over contending views, positions, or interests and is related to rights and responsibilities. A conflict is discord or strife resulting in a severance of friendly relations.  If you have a dispute, the outcome you are seeking is resolution of the issues. If you have a conflict, the outcome you are seeking is reconciliation of the relationship. If you have both, you need to prepare for both resolution and reconciliation.

2. Understand Your Interests
One of the most important things that you can do to prepare for mediation is to know what are your needs and interests. Before you can identify your interests, you have to separate them from your positions (i.e. proposed solutions). An interest is what you want to gain from mediation. It is that which must be satisfied in order for you to say “yes” to any proposal, counter-proposal or settlement offer. A position, on the other hand, is how you expect an interest to be met. While your interest may have many ways to be met, any single position only prescribes one of those ways. Take time well in advance of the mediation to intentionally consider your interests and needs...and prepare yourself to adjust them as the mediation process unfolds. Then spend some earnest time thinking about all the various ways they can be satisfied. This will help you to be open and flexible in finding solutions to meet your interests and increase your chances of arriving at an outcome that is mutually acceptable.

3. Consider Not Only Your Own Interests, But Those of the Other Party
Mediation is about finding solutions that will work for all parties. It is a solution-making process. Thus the greater your understanding of the other party’s feelings, perspectives, and interests the better you will be able to create a solution that everyone can agree upon. Take time before the mediation to try to understand what a solution would look like for the other party. Try to anticipate their essentials and non-essentials. This will help you be more creative in developing options and finding solutions. Look for shared goals and interests that you both have. Many times parties come to mediation with very similar goals and interests, but have very different positions or ideas about how they should be met. When both parties begin to look for mutual ways that benefit the other, the mediation process becomes a powerful opportunity for resolution and reconciliation. 

4. Know Your Essentials from Your Non-Essentials
When trying to resolve a dispute or reconcile a conflict, it is crucial for you to know what is essential to you and what is not. The more honest you are in identifying the non-essentials the better off you will be. Knowing your essentials and non-essentials will keep you on track and focused and prepare you to be flexible and creative in reaching an outcome acceptable to you and the other party. You will also find it helpful to spend time thinking through the best and worst outcomes that are possible should you not reach a mediated agreement.  

5. Acknowledge, But Control, Your Emotions
Disputes and conflicts produce emotions. The emotional content of a controversy has the potential to bring out the best and worst in people. Negative emotions can cause people to become ineffective and unproductive when trying to seek solutions to problems. Therefore, as you contend with your emotions, try to work through them as best you can prior to the mediation in order to minimize their becoming a stumbling block to resolution and/or reconciliation.

6. Gather and Organize All Pertinent Information
Prior to the mediation conference, you and the other party should gather all pertinent information sufficient to make informed decisions about options for resolution and/or reconciliation. If there is information you need from the other party, ask them for it. Likewise, if you receive a request for information from the other party, be generous and timely in giving it to them. It is common for the mediator to help with these informal information exchanges. 

Final Thoughts

Mediation is hard work. The better prepared the parties are and the more willing they are to work together, the greater the possibility of a good outcome. Preparation may take considerable time and reflection on your part, but the fruits of your preparation will be seen in the quality of your outcome.

No mediated settlement can be reached without you and the other party’s consent. It is, therefore, imperative that everyone collaborates to craft a mutually acceptable outcome. You “win” only when the other party “wins.” Going into mediation with this mindset will be extremely beneficial, greatly enhancing the likelihood of resolving the issues, reconciling the relationship, or both.


Mediation Managers

Contact any manager close to either your location or the location of your mediation.
Michele Gomez
Johnston, RI
Phone: 401-429-0768

Janice Holdinski
Detroit, MI
Phone: 248-727-2753

Matt Lacy
Chicago, IL
Phone: 312-585-3758

Rebecca Nako
San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415-796-5321         

Lisa Romeo
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-603-2563

Heather Santo
Johnston, RI
Phone: 401-228-2630

Glen Williams
Dallas, TX
Phone: 469-304-3430


Mass Claims

AAA has expert technical support services as well as turnkey and customized programs to help organizations and businesses in both the public and private sectors resolve claimsincluding high-volume, large-scale claims caseloads—quickly and cost effectively through the use of mediation. These include mediation programs for disaster recovery and foreclosure, national and regional insurance programs, government programs, and employment dispute resolution programs.  Contact us at 1-800-778-7879 if you have general questions or specific inquiries. 


Judicial Settlement Conference

AAA, in collaboration with the American Arbitration Association, offers a Judicial Settlement Conference service. This service, like mediation, allows an impartial third party to facilitate communication and negotiation between parties, promoting voluntary resolution of disputes by providing an opportunity for parties to reach mutually satisfactory agreements.

However, parties using a Judicial Settlement Conference receive a higher degree of feedback from their neutral, who is selected from a panel comprised of former judges with strong settlement capabilities. Our Judicial Settlement Conference mirrors the process—and shares the goals and objectives—of settlement conferences sponsored by courts. Parties select this service because they believe a candid evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, and value of their claims by a respected retired judge contributes to a faster, less expensive resolution of their dispute. 
Judicial Settlement Conference Panel
The panel is comprised of former state and federal court judges who meet stringent criteria. Click here to see the Qualification Criteria and Responsibilities.

JSC: Another ADR Choice
The Judicial Settlement Conference service was developed to provide businesses, individuals, and government agencies with a new alternative dispute resolution procedure that has historically been utilized by courts, that works well, and with which parties and their representatives have confidence and comfort. This service offers quicker, more economical resolution of disputes by allowing parties to set their own schedule, select their own judge neutral, and devise their own remedy.

For more information, click on Features and Benefits of AAA Judicial Settlement Conference 


Mediation Resources 

AAA is committed to providing a wide spectrum of resources aimed at promoting the use of mediation throughout every segment of society and improving the quality of the process in its various areas of practice.

This is a dynamic and growing area of our site and we welcome contributions for consideration. To submit an article, please email   


On this page, you will find the mediator’s tools of the trade—the rules and standards of conduct and competencies for mediators.


Education & Training

Education is essential.

The depth and breadth of mediation make education about its diverse nature and practice essential—for both users and practitioners of the process. AAA is committed to providing opportunities that meet the education and training needs of all members of the mediation community.

Contact Us

To speak with our experts, call us or fill in the form below.

File a new case 877-495-4185

General Inquiry 877-250-0329