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The Mediated Settlement Conference Program
 
The Mediated Settlement Conference Program in Mecklenburg County is used to assist parties in reaching a mutual resolution of the case prior to trial.

After the Scheduling Order has been issued in a case, a separate Order for Alternative Dispute Resolution will be issued. The Order will specify that mediation has been assigned as the specific form of ADR to be used and will assign a deadline for the mediated settlement conference to be completed. The mediation deadline will be 8 weeks prior to the trial date and in most cases will not be extended.

Parties ordered to participate in mediated settlement must choose a mediator certified by the Dispute Resolution Commission. If the parties cannot agree on who shall conduct their conference or do not take the appropriate action to select a mediator within 21 days from the date the case was ordered to Mediation, the Court will appoint a certified mediator to conduct the conference.

The mediator is responsible for scheduling the conference and for finding a location where it can take place. Conferences are normally held in the office of the mediator, the office of one of the attorneys involved in the case or in the courthouse. The Mecklenburg Courthouse has a Suite that may be reserved by parties for use in Mediated Settlement Conferences. Please see the instructions for using the ADR Shared Conference Rooms for more information.

The mediator serves as a facilitator only, focusing the parties' discussions and brainstorming with them in a search for settlement options. Following a successful mediation, the agreement will be reduced to writing and the court notified that the case has settled. If mediation is not successful, the mediator will report an impasse to the court and the case will proceed to trial. Many times, cases which impasse at mediation go on to settle in the coming weeks as parties and their attorneys continue the discussion begun in mediation.

All filings and correspondence for the Mediated Settlement Conference Program must be sent to the Court through the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator in order to be deemed properly filed. Please keep in mind that if forms are filed in any other manner they are not deemed valid and will not be recognized.

 
 
 
   
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