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Amanda Weiner Mediation Spring 2012 First Assignment New Jersey In general, to become a mediator in New Jersey, two

activities are recommended: mediation specific training and gaining mediation experience. New Jersey does not require licensing or certification to become a mediator in private practice (in other words, there are no state requirements for the practice of mediation). However, there are minimum requirements to gain admission to various mediation rosters. The mediation training should correspond to the area of mediation one wishes to practice. For example, a divorce mediator should be educated in divorce/family law. Mediation experience can be gained in a number of ways: by gaining mentoring experience with a mediator, taking a mediation apprenticeship, or volunteering with various courts and organizations. The qualifications and training required to become a court-approved mediator are stated in Rule 1:40-12 of the New Jersey court rules. While not every mediator necessarily works in a court-approved program, the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM) has adopted the requirements of Rule 1:40-12 as a basis for granting status to an individual as an Accredited Professional Mediator (APM). Once the requirements have been met, the mediator is qualified to practice in any of the courtsponsored programs or to do private mediation. Court rules distinguish between "neutrals" and "qualified neutrals. A qualified neutral is defined as an individual included on any roster of neutrals maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts or an Assignment Judge. The Administrative Office of the Courts maintains a statewide roster for civil, general equity, and probate cases. Each family court has its own roster maintained by the Assignment Judge. Courts may make referrals to non-roster neutrals upon the finding that it will not prejudice the interests of the parties. Any individual, regardless of his or her education or occupation is eligible to become a mediator. However, to be listed on the court-approved roster of mediators, the individual must be good standing in his or her profession and must meet specific criteria regarding years of professional experience, education and training. Qualifications for Family Part Mediators are:

1) A graduate degree or a certification of advanced training in a behavioral or social science. 2) Training in mediation techniques and supervised experience in mediation. (Relevant experience may be substituted for educational requirements, if approved by the court.) The training requirements can be met through the completion of a 40-hour course approved by the court, which covers basic mediation skills and specialized training in family and child development, family law and divorce procedures. Qualifications for Civil, General Equity, and Probate Mediators include: 1) 5 years of professional experience in their field; 2) Advanced degree AND 2 successful mediation cases in the past year or an undergraduate degree in field of intended mediation practice AND a minimum of 10 mediated cases within the last 5 years [Note: the requirement for mediation experience is waived if the individual has a graduate degree and completed their mediation training in the past 5 years]; 3) 18 hours of training in specified areas approved by the court; 4) At least 5 hours of mentoring in at least 2 cases in the Superior Court by an experienced roster mediator who is on the court-approved roster of mentors. Mentoring may be waived if the individual has completed 10 hours of approved advance mediation coursework. Qualifications for Custody and Parenting Time Mediators are: 1) Graduate degree or certification in a behavioral or social science; 2) Supervised clinical experience in mediation; 3) 40 hours of training in specified areas The Assignment Judge may substitute relevant experience for education, clinical experience, or both. Qualifications for Special Civil Part Mediators (small claims and landlord/tenant; Judicial law clerks, court staff, and volunteers.): Mediators who meet other qualifications can be approved by the court to mediate small claims actions. They can also mediate landlord-tenant disputes if they have completed at least 7 hours of substantive and procedural training in landlord-tenant law or 3 hours for attorneys.

Municipal Court mediators may be approved for that position by the Assignment Judge for the vicinage in which they intend to serve on recommendation of the Municipal Court judge, stating the applicant's qualifications. In considering the recommendation, the Assignment Judge will review the applicant's general background, suitability for service as a mediator, and any mediation training the applicant may have completed. Family Part Economic Mediators: Requirements For Attorneys: a. Juris Doctor (or equivalent law degree) b. Admission to the bar for at least seven years c. Licensed to practice law in the state of New Jersey d. Practice substantially devoted to matrimonial law Requirement For Non-Attorneys: a. Advanced degree in psychology, psychiatry, social work, business, finance, or accounting, or a CPA or other relevant advanced degree deemed appropriate by the credentials committee, b. At least seven years experience in the field of expertise, and c. Licensed in New Jersey if required in the field of expertise Any retired Superior Court judge with experience in handling dissolution matters. Furthermore, all mediators must annually attend 4 hours of continuing education, commencing in the year following the completion of the basic training course or the waiver thereof. To meet the requirement, this continuing education must include instruction in ethical issues associated with mediation practice, program guidelines and/or case management and should cover at least one of the following: (A) reinforcing and enhancing mediation and negotiation concepts and skills, (B) other professional matters related to mediation. Mediators who have been approved to serve as mentors under subsection (b)(1) of this Rule may apply the time spent mentoring to satisfy this requirement.