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Appellate Courts To Undertake Mediation Pilot Projects

Wednesday, June 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Two-year mediation pilot programs will be available in the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Court of Appeals of Virginia beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the courts announced June 13.

The pilot programs were recommended in a report developed by the Special Committee to Study Appellate Mediation in Virginia, which was created at the request of Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons.

The Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the VBA and the Virginia State Bar established the committee. The committee's report also recommended a new level of certification for appellate mediators during the pilot projects. This idea will be presented to the Judicial Council for adoption later this year. You can read the Report of the Special Committee to Study Appellate Mediation online.

Mediation in the Supreme Court will be available in certain cases in which a petition for appeal has been granted. Mediation will be available in the Court of Appeals in equitable distribution cases or related attorneys' fee disputes.

"Mediation of cases pending in our courts, including our appellate courts, gives citizens an alternative to traditional litigation with its attendant expenses and stress," Lemons said in the courts' news release. "A successful mediation allows the parties to 'own' the outcome. No case will be required to be mediated; rather, we are simply offering a creative alternative to those who want it."

Glen A. Huff, chief judge of the Court of Appeals, said, "The Court of Appeals welcomes the new initiatives for mediated resolutions of disputes. Satisfaction of the parties is best accomplished through voluntary settlements rather than decisions imposed by the court."

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