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Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution

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This Article argues that mediators are following distinct models of practice that are significantly different from each other, and that each model is itself internally coherent and integrated. In other words, within each model the mediator’s purpose, practices, and premises are all consistent and congruent; and when comparing each model to the others, these three levels are not only different but incompatible. Yet, although these models and their differences are recognized in the literature and identifiable in practice, many mediators and policymakers do not clearly acknowledge them; even more, they are often discounted and ignored. For example, proposals have been made recently to ignore these models in favor of a "toolbox" approach in which mediators select their practices on a case by case basis from a toolbox of methods shared by all. This Article explores the reasons for the insistence that good practice is a matter of using a common toolbox rather than following different coherent, purpose-driven models, and shows how the latter approach provides greater service to consumers and facilitates better regulation of mediation practice and ethics.

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