I’ve often found it difficult to locate folks to help me with a problem—whether I’m looking for someone to help with a home repair, a new veterinarian or accountant. While I often use websites like tripadvisor.com to evaluate reviews for vacation planning, when I’m looking for someone to have a more significant and longer-term relationship with, those reviews can seem insufficient.
Several websites have developed to try to address this need, but many, operate on a very simple platform, with no vetting or evaluation of credentials. They post any review that is submitted. Some websites, such as avvo.com, provide more valuable and detailed information to help the consumer by evaluating some of the credentials, including publications, education, and awards.
A new group, headquartered in Seattle, is working to create a directory professions and services that include objective evaluations and recommendations. Expertise.com uses a complicated set of algorithms to review professionals and then individually evaluates each company on five criteria: reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism. While I’ve always enjoyed my 5-star rating on AVVO, my recent selection by expertise.com as one of the top mediators in the Washington D.C. area makes me very proud of the work I’ve done over the last ten years to build a firm that offers a wide variety of non-adversarial processes to resolve conflicts. Joining other mediators such as attorney Nancy Lesser with Pax ADR L.L.C. and David Goldberg with Family Mediation Services, Inc., places me in good company with other qualified mediators.
The criteria that Expertise.com employs can help someone looking for mediation services to evaluate mediators. One of the criteria they use is “credibility, defined as building customer confidence with licensing, industry accreditations, and awards.” I enjoy my direct client contact, such as working with crime and accident victims or working with litigants in mediation. I’ve had the opportunity to present my research at many conferences. I’ve also published several law review articles and had the opportunity to conduct workshops throughout the United States in the areas of mediation and restorative justice. Some of my devotion to the work stemmed the early part of my career when the West Virginia State Bar awarded me a certificate of merit for my work with children.