David J. McDonald

Mediation Center of Hampton Roads
Suffolk, Virginia 23432


Areas Of Arbitration

Child Custody
Legal Separation
Same Sex Disputes


David McDonald is a founder of the Mediation Center of Hampton Roads and a former mediator for the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney. And has been teaching mediator training for 16 years

A noted speaker on consumer and business issues, he has effectively resolved more disputes in Hampton Roads using mediation than any other mediator in the field. In 1994, Dave founded the Virginia Beach Courts mediation program; a program which provides mediation services for the court users in that city.

Dave received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and his Master of Public Administration, with an emphasis in Conflict Resolution, from Old Dominion University. Back in 1993 Dave became one of the first certified mediators in Virginia. Dave is President of the Colonial Place and Riverview Civic Leagues. David is also on the Board of the Ghent Business Association, and is a former member of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board

In mediation, a third-party neutral (mediator) assembles the disputing parties,  encourages dialogue, provides guidance, and helps define areas of agreement and  disagreement, but does not impose a settlement. The mediator, through discussions  with both sides, attempts to facilitate a negotiated solution by having each party  recognize its true needs as well as those of the other parties.  Mediation seeks  a settlement through enabling parties to see their dispute from the perspective of  their “interests” rather than their “rights” or “positions.”

Unlike traditional adjudication, mediation is not premised on a “winner-take-all”  approach, but instead presupposes that parties will realistically assess their  positions and cooperate in reaching a solution.

The mediation process brings disputing parties together to resolve their conflicts  in a structured yet informal process.  A typical mediation session lasts from one  to two hours.  Mediation has been especially effective in resolving disputes in  areas such as labor-management, neighborhood conflicts, parent-teen disputes,  separation/divorce and personal injury cases, consumer-merchant conflicts,  landlord-tenant relations, and small claims and contractual disputes as well as  workplace disputes and medical malpractice concerns.

The focus of mediation is to explore the potential for change in the behaviors  and attitudes that have led to conflict, a confusion of roles and expectations,  and a breakdown in communication.  The goal is for the parties to create a consensually  written agreement that each party feels is fair, balanced, realistic, and accurately  reflects the issues raised and addressed in the mediation.

Mediation is not litigation. It does not determine who is right or wrong. All points  of view are considered valid.

Mediation is not counseling. Mediation recognizes the emotional issues in a conflict,  but it focuses on finding a workable solution to the problems, rather than the cause of the problem.

Mediation . . .

  • is a voluntary process.
  • is not adversarial and not coercive in nature.
  • is confidential.
  • allows the outcome to be determined by the parties involved in the dispute
Phone: (757) 624-6666


(757) 627-2226


[email protected]


424 West 21st Street, Suite 200

Norfolk, VA 23517