First District Launches Mediation Program

The First District Court of Appeals launched of its new appellate mediation program in late October, part of a series of innovations aimed at expanding access to the Court and better serving Hamilton County citizens.

Sarah M. Foster has been hired to serve as mediator and coordinate the program.  She is a graduate of Chase College of Law and the University of Kentucky.

Ms. Foster comes to the First District from the Warren County Common Pleas Court, General Division, where she served as a magistrate, staff attorney, and mediator for nine years and developed its court-sponsored mediation program.

Her trial court experience gives her a unique perspective of the judicial system that she will use to assist parties at the appellate level.  As the Court’s mediator, she will guide participants through thoughtful discussions designed to help them explore creative options for case resolution.

“Our new mediation program will help parties avoid the delay and expense of continued litigation,” said Judge Pierre H. bergeron, the Court’s Administrative Judge.  “Sarah will be a tremendous resource for the parties appearing before our Court, and we are excited as she gets to work.”

With certain exceptions, all civil cases, domestic relations cases, and original actions are eligible to be selected for the Court’s mediation program.  Ms. Foster will screen cases for eligibility upon the filing of the notice of appeal and will schedule cases for a mediation screening conference.

Cases referred to the mediation program are eligible to be placed on a stay for up to 60 days while the parties pursue resolution.