Court Mediation Program

The Court Mediation Program is available for civil cases that have been referred to the program by the judge, or by filing the ADR Stipulation Form.

To use the Court mediation program you must comply with these guidelines:

Selecting a Mediator:

A mediator must be selected and the mediation must be completed by the date specified in the Case Management Order. A list of the court's mediation panel members (mediators) can be obtained from the ADR Program Administrator's Office or from the court's ADR website. When all the parties agree on a mediator they must determine if there are any conflicts of interest with the mediator. A party must be designated to contact the mediator to inform her or him that this is a mediation referral from this court and ask if the mediator is available to complete the mediation prior to the next scheduled case management conference or by the deadline ordered by the judge. The designated party must then complete and sign a Mediator Selection Form, verify the agreement, and submit the form by email, fax, or mail to the ADR Program Administrator's Office. The mediator will be notified of the appointment to your case when the ADR Program Administrator receives the Mediator Selection Form.

Mediator Fees:

A mediator selected and appointed through the court's mediation program is required to donate preparation time and the first two hours of mediation. Preparation time includes scheduling, initiating necessary paperwork, reading mediation statements, and telephonic communication with parties.

A court mediation session may be extended beyond the initial two-hour session if each party signs a written agreement to extend the session and agree to pay the mediator's hourly rate for all time beyond the initial two hours. The mediator's hourly rate is indicated on his or her ADR Program Panel Mediator Information Form and is disclosed in the written agreement signed by all parties at the time of the mediation. The fee is to be shared among the parties and paid directly to the mediator.

Refundable deposit:

A mediator may ask for a reasonable and fully refundable deposit that is to be submitted prior to the mediation. This is to cover any billable time agreed upon beyond the two hours of donated time. The deposit anticipates the possibility that the mediation may not successfully conclude within the donated two hours and that the parties may wish to engage the mediator further at the hourly rate. Any mediator who requires a deposit must promptly return it if there is no agreement to extend the mediation beyond the donated two hours.

Mediation statement:

You must provide the mediator and all other parties the Mediation Statement at least one week before the scheduled mediation. Mediation statements must be clear, concise, and no longer than five pages. It must outline the details of the dispute. Only include those documents you think are important to resolve the dispute.

This document is confidential and cannot be used in court at a later date. Confidentiality allows the parties to share ideas or information that might lead to resolving the dispute.

Attendance:

The following persons are required to attend:

  • Each party in the dispute;
  • The attorney for each represented party;
  • The claims representative of the insurance company who has full settlement authority if insurance is involved; and/or
  • Any other person who is necessary for the complete and final resolution of all claims and counter-claims in the dispute.

In conducting a session, the ADR provider should require the attendance of persons with full authority to resolve the dispute. The provider should only permit telephone appearances if good cause to waive personal appearance was shown in a timely manner prior to the session.

The party given leave to be on telephone standby must inform the mediator and all other parties of the approval.

Requests to reschedule mediation session:

Requests must be submitted in writing to the mediator no less than three days before the scheduled mediation. The mediator has discretion to grant or deny the request.

Cancellations:

A mediator may elect to cancel a scheduled mediation and refer the dispute back to the court for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure by any party to file and serve its mediation statement in a timely fashion;
  • Failure by any party to submit its refundable deposit if required by the panel mediator; and,
  • Failure of a required participant to appear.

You must promptly notify the court when you have settled your case.