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Early Settlement Mediation - Central Program

Funded by the Administrative Office of the Courts - In Partnership with the Cleveland County Commissioners

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Policy Changes Nov. 2011

Mediation Preparation Guide

for Small Claims, Civil, Real Estate, etc.




The Mediator's Role is:


To assist each of the parties in defining the issues and exploring the possible solutions in order to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement in a safe, non-adversarial environment.  




Be Prepared for Mediation: 


Schedule adequate time for the mediation.  Most mediations last between one to three hours, and some are longer, depending on the number and complexity of the issues involved.  Plan to be available for the entire day.


Schedule care of minor children in advance since they are not allowed in mediation.


The number of participants attending mediation will be kept to a minimum.  Generally only the parties, their attorneys, (if desired) and the mediator attends the mediation.  Any person wishing to attend mediation, other than those just mentioned, MUST be agreed upon by the parties PRIOR TO the mediation.  


Parties need to determine whether or not they wish to have an attorney attend the mediation with them or whether to attend without attorneys.  If they attend without attorneys, they may contact the attorney during mediation if needed.  Arrangements for availability of their attorney must be made by each participant.


Bring any documentation or related paperwork with you to the mediation.


Since mediation is confidential, no record from the mediation will be kept except for the agreement.  Any notes taken during the medation will be collected by the mediator and destroyed.


Audio or video recordings of the medation are not allowed.  


The mediation agreement may become a part of the court file if the case has been referred or ordered by the judge.  


The parties or the mediator may discontinue the medation session at any time but are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for settlement afforded by mediation.


Parties should consider possible solutions to each issue prior to the mediation, but also be willing to explore additonal options for settlement presented during mediation. 


Come to mediaton willing to make a good faith effort at settlement.  The overall agreement rate for the Early Settlement - Central Program is generally between 70-80 percent each year.  You are in good hands with Early Settlement Mediators.