Interview-Beverly Tarr

Beverly R. Tarr

1. What requirements do you think a good mediator should have?

  • Patient
  • Non-judgmental
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Listening skills
  • Reality testing skills
  • Control the process exclusively, not outcomes

2. What training do you consider most adequate to become a good mediator?

100 hours minimum with at least 50% being practical base simulations. 25% shadowing 3 different mediators over 3 different days. Drafting Memorandums of Understanding at the conclusion of each mediation which are then reviewed by the mediator for feedback.

3. In your opinion, what legislative measures would be necessary to effectively promote mediation in general and business mediation in particular?

Mandatory mediation provisions in all contracts.

4. What are the benefits of resolving a dispute through mediation rather than through the courts or arbitration?

  • The Parties are the decisions-makers
  • Creative problem solving often outside the scope of a court’s ambit
  • Certainty of outcome
  • Cost
  • Time
  • Productivity
  • Confidentiality
  • Closure
  • Longevity of agreement – stands the test of time
  • Less polarizing and less stressful process
  • Ability to have an on-going relationship with the other Party                                                   e.g. spouse/neighbor/employer

5. What is the most complicated aspect of mediation?

  • Ensuring structure from start to finish in the process but allowing for flexibility as and when needed.
  • Ensuring the demarcation of roles within the mediation process:
  • Mediator – runs the process exclusively
  • Attorneys – advise as to the law
  • Parties – decision makers

6. What conditions should a citizen or enterprise take into account in order to select a good mediator?

Experience both before becoming a mediator and as a mediator. Reputation from Parties, contemporaries, and other referral sources such as Attorneys.

7. Do you think that mediation is an institution already implanted in our country? Or do you think that it has not been fully accepted by the citizens?

In the United States, mediation is an institution already implanted in some States but not in others. The public is becoming more aware of mediation as a way to resolve various conflicts.

8. In your opinion, what is the future of mediation in Europe as an extrajudicial method of dispute resolution?

Good and will occur. The question is how rapidly?

9. What advice would you give to those who think of mediation as a future profession?

Be prepared to build a business. A good mediator does not always have a successful business. Do not try and emulate someone else’s style. Each person brings a unique skill set. Do not be afraid of competition. It is healthy and ultimately raises the standard of the profession and broadens the exposure of the process.

10. What is your opinion about online mediation? For which conflicts would online mediation be most useful?

Online mediation in divorce is used for consultations, preliminary sessions, and signing days but not for full day mediations. Being able to read the Parties’ full body language is very important in running the mediation process. In my opinion, for Parties to feel fully invested in the decision making and own the outcomes, they should be present.

11. What is the work of an international mediator?

Learning and understanding cultures first and foremost. Exposing oneself and being open to different types/styles of negotiation. Ultimately to do the same job as any mediator to facilitate negotiation between the Parties/Countries to hopefully resolve conflict.

12.What does a family mediator do?

Facilitate negotiation between Parties to reach a resolution acceptable to both that will allow them to continue to move forward in a positive way for the children.

13. What is criminal mediation? And civil and commercial mediation?


14. What do you think is the key factor so mediation can become a regular extrajudicial method of conflict resolution in the international and business fields?

Mandatory mediation supported by the executive and legislature. Work collaboratively with the legal profession and the judiciary and offer assistance/ideas with drafting provisions. Be prepared to devote time for no remuneration to assist change. Galvanize support from those who may initially feel threatened by mediation.

15. Do you think mediation could be a solution to the widespread workload problem of the justice system in our country?

It is an absolute solution and necessity. It works for all – the Parties and Courts. Most legal systems are overburdened and underfunded.


Please, describe in no more than 10 lines, the work of the organization to which you belong in the field of mediation.

BEVERLY R. TARR, LLB is the Founder of Certified Divorce Mediation LLC and is a highly qualified and experienced Chicago based divorce mediator who has conducted over 1,400 mediations. Ms. Tarr has been at the forefront of promoting mediation in divorce cases in Illinois. She specializes in all family law matters relating to divorce, child custody, support and post-decree issues. Her cases are diverse and can often include complex financial issues which Ms. Tarr prepares to ensure there is an equilibrium of understanding in the mediation. She firmly believes divorce does not need to be a long and drawn out process and typically resolves disputes within two days.


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