Source: (1982) Pretrial Services Annual Journal 5: 134-149.This paper examines the structure, format, and dynamics of the mediation session and two major categories of negotiation subprocesses ('defusing' and 'repairing'). The analysis is based on data collected over a 6-month period at the Suffolk Community Mediation Justice Center Program (New York). Four dimensions in mediation may make a session problematic: mediation is voluntary; sessions may be threatening or embarrassing; sessions may be volatile; and sessions are unpredictable. Specific strategies used in difficult mediation situations are detailed. Observations of those involved in mediation are provided.