The Commission appreciates that mediators may sometimes need assistance in interpreting the Standards of Professional Conduct or program rules and in applying them to ethical or other dilemmas that may arise in the course of a mediation conference. In an effort to provide guidance, the Commission has adopted its Advisory Opinion Policy. The Policy provides for the Commission to respond to both oral and written requests for assistance. For the Commission to respond in writing with a formal opinion, requests must be based upon actual events occurring in or issues raised during the course of a mediated settlement conference and have general applicability or benefit to other mediators. Such requests will be considered by the Commission's Advisory Opinion's Committee. Opinions are approved by the full Commission and are published in the Commission's newsletter and posted on its web site.
When time is of the essence, the Policy provides for members, ex-officio members and the Commission's Executive Secretary to provide informal advice to mediators over the telephone or e-mail. Such informal advice does not carry the weight of a formal Advisory Opinion issued by the Commission. However, all calls directed to the Executive Secretary are logged into a notebook maintained by the Commission's office. The Commission will review the notebook and take the mediator's request for assistance into account in the event a complaint is, in fact, lodged against the mediator.
The Advisory Opinion Policy is intended to provide guidance to mediators. Attorneys and litigants who have a question or concern about a mediator's conduct may contact the Commission's office at (919) 890-1415 to discuss the matter or request a complaint packet. In order for the Commission to actually investigate a complaint, it must be filed in writing with the Commission.
A copy of the Advisory Opinion Policy
and Advisory Opinions
issued to date appear on this web site.