Civil Mediation Program
About the Program
As part of the long range plan, in 1996 the Court looked into having a Alternative Dispute Resolution program for cases that exceed the arbitration limits and subsequently created a mediation program for civil cases that are in excess of $50,000. The mediation program is different from the arbitration program in many ways, including but not limited to the following:
- The parties select the individual mediator
- The parties pay the mediator directly
- The mediation can be conducted in a variety of locations (the mediator's office, a party's office, a neutral location, at the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center, etc.)
- There is no specified time limit for the mediation conference and the mediator can conduct the mediation in a number of sessions spanning several days
The 2 most crucial differences between mediation and arbitration is (1) that mediation is voluntary and arbitration is mandatory, and (2) the mediator takes an active role in trying to help the parties resolve their dispute(s), whereas the arbitration panel hears the facts and renders a decision without active participation by the arbitration panel.
The Court sponsored a mediator training in October 1996 for the 26 original applicants that were approved to act as mediators. To date, 36 mediators support our mediation program and over 1,000 cases have been referred to the mediation program, with most of those cases settling at the mediation or after the mediation but prior to the trial date.
For additional information, please call the Alternative Dispute Resolution Center at 847-377-3700.