The NC Dispute Resolution has chosen to act primarily as a pro-active regulator, focusing on encouraging mediators to be mindful of their ethical obligations. To that end, the Commission:
1. Encourages mediators to stay current by notifying them of revisions to program rules and the Supreme Court's Standards of Professional Conduct for Mediators.
2. Mandates continuing education reporting annually. Superior and district mediators are encouraged to complete at leastthree hours of continuing mediator education every year. Annual reporting of their activities is required. Mediators who do not complete their hours voluntarily will be contacted and encouraged to do so. The Commission is monitoring reporting to determine compliance levels.
3. Mandates distribution of an evaluation form by all certified mediators at the conclusion of mediation, thereby ensuring that the mediator receives feedback from attorneys and parties (
FFS Rule 6.B.(7) and MSC Rule 6.B.(6)).
4. Distributes a newsletter and maintains a web site where information can be found, including information about training opportunities and program updates.
5. Offers mediators an opportunity to seek guidance through its Advisory Opinion Policy. Mediators may contact the Commission's office to request oral advice when time is of the essence or seek a written opinion in an effort to clarify a situation for future reference. Mediators may request advise from the Commission on ethical issues or rule interpretation questions.
Though the Commission has chosen to focus on being pro-active and encouraging ethical conduct, it also takes very seriously its responsibility todiscipline those who fail to act ethically or to abide by the program rules. To that end, the Supreme Court, upon the recommendation of the Commission, has adopted Standards of Professional Conduct for Mediators and rules for enforcement of these Standards.