The Importance of Trust and Communication with Hispanic Plaintiffs in the Mediation Process

The beginning point for any successful mediation is the Two people shaking hands in a legal meetingparties trust in the mediator. Throughout the mediation, a mediator works to build and maintain the parties’ trust of the mediation process, the mediator, and between the parties themselves.

With institutional parties, this can be developed over several mediations; however, with a one-time plaintiff, a mediator only has the one time to instill trust. Literature supports that the importance of trust in the mediator as a decisive factor in the success of mediation. So how can a mediator begin to earn trust? –- through communication.

Communication is important for a successful mediation. The mediator needs be able to communicate with the plaintiff. Communication is more than mere words. The mediator must understand the Hispanic culture and the choice of words, that may have more than literal meaning.

Good communication requires that it be directly between the plaintiff and the mediator. The best-case scenario is one where the plaintiff and the mediator are communicating directly in a common language that is back filled with a lifetime of Hispanic culture and experienced by both.

In mediations where the plaintiff is non-English speaking and where the mediator cannot speak with the plaintiff in their native tongue, communications, and therefore trust, is often compromised.

Even the best of translators cannot fully convey some of the issues that arise, or linguistic nuances involved. More importantly, when using a translator, the mediator is communicating with the translator, who is communicating with the plaintiff. There is no direct communication between the mediator and the plaintiff, and the requisite trust is compromised.

At MediationWorks, we understand the need and importance of bilingual mediators at mediations and arbitrations. Mediator Jose G. Rodriguez has found that his Hispanic clients connect with him and trust him because of his years of experience as an attorney coupled with his Hispanic upbringing.

Jose is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and a Certified Florida Circuit Court Mediator. Jose’s mediation practice concentrates on personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability and worker’s compensation cases.

If you have questions regarding mediations or arbitrations contact MediationWorks or Jose G. Rodriguez at 561-245-2200. We have locations throughout South Florida, and we offer free pre-meeting consults with our mediator or arbitrator.