Welcome to The Mediation Society

Who We Are

The Mediation Society is a non-profit organization based in Northern California that is composed of trained and experienced mediators who meet regularly to share information, develop mediation skills and techniques, and enjoy an atmosphere of fellowship among peers. To this end, the Society sponsors dinners, round tables and workshops in San Francisco featuring leading local, national and international speakers and subjects in the field of mediation. Membership in the Society and participation in its activities are intended to further the advancement of the practice of mediation, both locally and nationally, and to foster an appreciation for mediation as a valuable form of alternative dispute resolution.

Mediator's Corner

Mediator's Corner Archives

Ben Hamburg

The Importance of A Mediator Who Knows How to Mediate (Or the Myth of “Hon.”) by Ben Hamburg

Many of us, in our role as mediators, often interact with attorneys and litigants who tell us they feel they “need” a retired judge to act as the mediator in their cases because a judicial officer will have more “persuasive power.” It becomes incumbent on those of us who are not retired judicial officers to point out that “power” is not necessarily helpful to reaching a negotiated settlement, and that while many judges make excellent mediators, being a former judicial officer does not mean that a person has developed skills that are essential to mediation.

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* Mr. Hamburg is the principal of Hamburg Mediation. After graduating from Boalt in 1979 and serving as a law clerk to the Hon. Ira Brown and Hon. Robert Dossee, Mr. Hamburg became a commercial litigator in San Francisco, and also served as General Counsel for a public real estate investment trust. Since 1993, after training through the United States District Court Mediation Training Program, Mr. Hamburg has served as both a private mediator and arbitrator.