The Benefits of a Mediator with a 360-degree Perspective

A mediator with subject matter expertise, understanding, and experience in seeing how things play out at trial or in arbitration, can be a valuable asset when working to settle cases and move files forward.

A key part of an effective mediator’s role is to help parties see the strengths, weaknesses, and risks of their case. An effective mediator can also offer their own perspectives on the strength of the parties’ position on issues such as liability and damages.

To make an impact and bring value, a mediator needs to understand the parties interests and legal positions. A strong background in the law, including practical experience and observations relating to similar cases can be very advantageous to the parties at mediation.

A mediator also needs to be knowledgeable about legal issues and trial/hearing dynamics.  By truly understanding what can and does happen at a trial and/or arbitration, a mediator can make a significant impact, especially if the parties reach an impasse during mediation.  By offering an informed viewpoint, a mediator can help the parties truly evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and risks of their cases and the other side’s.

Often during a mediation, counsel will state that certain testimony, evidence or reports will be the key to a successful outcome at a trial/hearing. A mediator who has extensive experience arbitrating cases – evaluating witnesses credibility and documentary evidence – can provide their take on how persuasive a witness’s testimony, pieces of evidence and various reports may or may not be, which can prove valuable to the process.

Sometimes, a lawyer and their client may not be seeing eye to eye on the case; in this situation, a knowledgeable and experienced mediator can really make a difference in helping to build the consensus necessary to move a matter forward.

When a mediator provides their perspective on certain assumptions being made, or poses thoughtful questions, they can help parties see the important issues in a different light. This approach can provide valuable insight and help the parties better assess the risks of proceeding to trial, and often make a settlement, or progress towards a settlement, more likely at mediation.

Counsel I’ve mediated with often tell me that their biggest concern with mediating files is that sometimes mediators seem to give up too quickly when the parties appear to be far apart and the prospect of settlement appears unlikely. A mediator with a 360-degree perspective, who has adjudicative experience and the ability to ask questions to get the parties thinking differently will be far less likely to throw in the towel when the distance between parties seems insurmountable.


Marshall Schnapp, Toronto / GTA Mediator

Marshall Schnapp, BA, JD, LLM (ADR) has been resolving disputes for over 10 years as a mediator and has extensive experience in adjudication as well. Clients consistently recommend Marshall for his upbeat, tenacious attitude, and the skills he has honed helping resolve thousands of matters.

Get in touch with Marshall by email at or by telephone (647) 250-7216 today to set up a consultation, and see why he is the right mediator for your next file. For booking availability, please visit or contact Lacey Day at or (647) 250-7216.