Neuroscience helps mediators facilitate productive negotiations and create an atmosphere conducive to solving problems.

As of Oct. 30, 2023, Chicago Mediation Services, LLC, is no longer accepting new cases.


[page-title anchor=”about”]About Chicago Mediation Services[/page-title]

Mediator Jill S. Tanz founded Chicago Mediation Services to provide commercial mediation services throughout the Chicagoland area with emphasis on real estate, condominium, partnership, probate, and contract disputes. Along with Professor Martha K. McClintock, she also offers expert training services worldwide on mediation and neuroscience.

Jill Tanz

Jill Tanz is a commercial mediator with years of experience as a mediator, law professor and trainer. She has lectured extensively on mediation and neuroscience and incorporates best practices developed from this expertise into her mediation practice.

Jill has mediated more than 500 cases in real estate, condominium, partnership, probate and contract disputes. She is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Roster of Mediators and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

She is a certified mediator in the Circuit Court of Cook County Law, Chancery and Probate Divisions.

Jill earned a BA, Summa Cum Laude, from Lafayette College, Easton, PA and a JD from the University of Chicago. She worked as an associate and partner in the law firm of Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd. for nine years specializing in commercial real estate, condominium and general corporate law.

Mediation Philosophy

My role as a mediator is to help attorneys and clients resolve disputes by exploring alternatives, decreasing barriers to settlement, and testing and evaluating possible solutions.

I have studied the neuroscience of conflict and apply this scientific knowledge to my design and conduct of mediation sessions. Based on the unique characteristics of the dispute, I design each mediation process using facilitative and evaluative techniques and my understanding of the effect of conflict on the mind. I assist the parties and their attorneys in the analysis of legal and business issues and in decision-making based on the individual goals of each party.

The process starts with pre-mediation conference calls to discuss logistics and format and ends with a written summary of agreed terms. During the mediation, I engage the parties, as well as their attorneys, in discussions about the dispute and solutions, both in joint session and in caucus.

Mediation is a flexible process for facilitating hard bargaining or for finding creative solutions. I use techniques best suited to the nature of each dispute and the goals of the parties.

Mediation and Neuroscience

Neuroscience is a hot topic. Scholars in many different fields have tried to mine the findings and apply them to everything from criminal law to cooking.

Jill Tanz has incorporated ideas about neuroscience into her mediation practice and shown, in an empirical study at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, that these ideas actually have an impact and can improve the mediation experience.

Prof. Martha K. McClintock has forty years of experience as an interdisciplinary neuroscientist, as well as psychologist, evolutionary biologist and human development expert. She has suggested that mediation is about conflict, and neuroscience knows a lot about how humans react in conflict, including how the physiologic stress response impacts people who are engaged in conflict.

Martha and Jill have worked together to describe how participants in mediation are affected by the stress response and what specific steps mediators can take to minimize the stressors in mediation. They have shown how neuroscience confirms many tools commonly used by mediators and suggested new tools that can help mediators deal with people under stress.

They have also looked at emotion and how mediators can best handle people who are feeling strong emotions at the time of mediation, as well as what neuroscience can tell us about venting, cooperation, decision-making and creativity.

They have conducted workshops on these topics and will be posting about them on this site’s blog from time to time.